Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Catherine Roper marks one year in office

By Alice Simpson - 27 February 2024


"Wiltshire Police looks and feels very different now from the Force I joined one year ago.”

  •  Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Catherine Roper

    Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Catherine Roper

Since joining Wiltshire Police in February 2023, Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Catherine Roper established three operational priorities; Safer Public Spaces, Violence and Burglary.

These underpin the organisational mission of Keeping Wiltshire Safe.

Chief Constable Roper joined Wiltshire Police seven months after it had been placed into the ENGAGE process in July 2022, when HMICFRS deemed that urgent improvements were required to the service our communities were receiving.

Whilst she concedes that, one year on, the Force is still on a significant improvement journey, she believes that the organisation is performing more effectively than the one she joined in February 2023.

She said: “Taking on this role has been the privilege of a lifetime for me and I genuinely believe we have made strides towards transforming the service the public receive from us.

“When I took up office, I said that, within a year, the organisation would look and feel very differently from February 2023 and it does.

The programme of changes we’ve made are to ensure that victims of crime, and all our communities and partners, receive the very best service from us.

"For me, this is not simply about improving enough to get out of the ENGAGE process. We must create meaningful and sustainable change to benefit the people of Wiltshire for years to come.”

Soon after arriving in post, Chief Constable Roper set three operational priorities to frame the improvements required in support of delivering Making Wiltshire Safer: Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan 2022 – 2025: Safer Public Spaces, Violence and Burglary.

Highlights of achievements made under these priorities during the Chief’s first year include:


  • At the start of 2023, Wiltshire Police launched the Neighbourhood Harm Reduction Unit which is a partnership between the Force and OPCC (Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner) dedicated to providing crime prevention, community engagement and harm reduction interventions across Wiltshire and Swindon
  • Safer Streets fund: in Wiltshire, alongside the OPCC, Wiltshire Police have agreed a programme of 12 interventions across three streams; tackling VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) & Anti-Social Behaviour hotspots, supporting delivery of Clear, Hold, Build to tackle serious and organised crime and providing additional youth engagement & support
  • Safety at Night charter – supporting the OPCC’s charter to encourage night-time economy businesses signing up to take practical steps to make our communities feel safer at night supported by police and partners.
  • Wiltshire Police have launched the Community Commitments, setting a minimum standard of engagement for the Neighbourhood Teams to ensure consistency across the county


  • Tackling knife crime: permanent knife surrender bins have now been established in Swindon and police continue to work closely with partners (including retailers) to educate & inform – this has included officers supporting Op Sceptre activity, knife sweeps and test purchases
  • Op Sacramento - focused on youth gang violence in Summer 2023 - resulted in 322 foot patrols and 80 stop searches, and police made 30 arrests
  • Wiltshire Police have launched Listening Circles to seek to continually improve the way in which officers respond to Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)


  • Wiltshire Police have launched our Burglary Unit – a team dedicated to tackling burglary series
  • Wiltshire Police committed to attending 100% of residential burglaries, which officers are regularly achieving
  • Victim satisfaction for burglary has risen by 7.3% points compared to the same period last year, and is now 85.5%
  • Wiltshire currently has the lowest burglary of a home crimes per 1000 population compared to most similar forces
  • In County, 23 Burglars have been charged and remanded since July
  • In Swindon, 14 Burglars have been charged and remanded since July.

Chief Constable Roper continued: “I firmly believe that 2024 will be an important year for Wiltshire Police as we continue to make significant and sustainable improvements to the service we deliver.

“This started with us launching our new operating model for frontline resources in January, which included the re-establishment of dedicated Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) to improve the visibility and engagement with all our communities. 

“Our collective focus on making significant improvements is driven by one thing – Keeping Wiltshire Safe.”




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