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Oxfordshire

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Oxfordshire (abbreviated Oxon, from the Latinised form Oxonia) is a county in the South East of England, bordering on Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and Warwickshire.

It is divided into five local government districts: Oxford, Cherwell, Vale of White Horse (after the Uffington White Horse), West Oxfordshire and South Oxfordshire.

The county has a major tourism industry. The area is noted for the concentration of performance motorsport companies and facilities. Oxford University Press has headed a concentration of print and publishing firms; the university is also linked to the concentration of local biotechnology companies.

The main centre of population is the city of Oxford. Other significant settlements are Bicester, Banbury, Kidlington, and Chipping Norton to the north of Oxford; Witney to the west; Thame and Chinnor to the east; and Abingdon, Wantage, Didcot and Henley-on-Thames to the south. Future population growth in the county is hoped to be concentrated around Banbury, Bicester, Didcot and Witney, near the South Midlands growth area.

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Thames Valley Police is one of the largest Home Office police services in England and the largest non-metropolitan one, covering 2200 sq mi (5,700 km²) and a population of 2.1 million. The force is responsible for the Thames Valley area covered by the ceremonial counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

In December 2003, Thames Valley Police employed over 6,000 staff, including 4,189 police officers. Its motto is Sit pax in valle tamesis (Latin: 'Let there be Peace in the Thames Valley'); its slogan is reducing crime, disorder and fear.

The Chief Constable of the force is Sara Thornton who was promoted to the position in April 2007.


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Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA, (born 8 January 1942 in Oxford) is a British theoretical physicist. Hawking is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He is known for his contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes, and his popular works in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general. These include the runaway popular science bestseller A Brief History of Time, which stayed on the British Sunday Times bestseller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.


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