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31st Dec 21
2021 has proved another challenging year for everyone – but it has also seen some excellent work achieved across our emergency services.
Here we take a look back at some of the highlights achieved by the Office of Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.
The New Year began with praise for Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service in the latest report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). Firefighters and staff were praised for their contributions in the COVID pandemic by helping to deliver medicines, driving ambulances and for working shifts at the temporary morgue in Wollaston.
In February Mr Mold announced that he would be putting a renewed focus on Neighbourhood Policing. Flanked by Chief Constable Nick Adderley, the Commissioner told media assembled at Force HQ that Neighbourhood Policing teams across rural and urban communities in the county would grow from 50 to 100 over the next 18 months, with an aim to add a further 60 in coming years.
That same month also saw the announcement of a new flagship policing hub to be created at Campbell Square in Northampton town centre, as well as a new base for the Neighbourhood Policing Team in Weston Favell. Both police and fire staff also moved into the new Darby House building in Wellingborough, with a renewed emphasis to share buildings where possible and streamline the estate.
March saw the culmination of safety improvement work across the county as part of the First Round of Safer Streets funding, secured by the Commissioner from the Home Office. This saw almost £1.5million spent on projects in Wellingborough, Kettering and Northampton – including a host of new CCTV cameras, new gating in alleyways to prevent anti-social behaviour, and improved lighting to enhance safety. Thousands of residents also received free home security products.
With voters heading to the polling booths in May, Stephen Mold was re-elected as the Commissioner for a second term after securing 53.2 per cent of the first preference vote.
An early success in his second term was the securing of a £400,000 grant in the Second Round of the Safer Streets scheme, with the winning bid driving to improve home safety in the Hemmingwell estate in Wellingborough.
Later in June, PFCC funded throw lines were installed at several of Northamptonshire’s nature hotspots to offer greater protection and a lifesaving tool to people who may be struggling in the water.
In July, Mr Mold met Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street in a meeting focussing on the Government’s new Beating Crime Plan, with the Commissioner highlighting Northamptonshire Police’s successful approach in both tackling and reducing burglaries.
A busy August saw the Commissioner launch a trial scheme offering rural businesses in Northamptonshire extra security. Mr Mold visited Whites Nurseries in Earls Barton, who were one of the first beneficiaries of being loaned VideoGuard 360 cameras from security firm PID Systems. Whites was selected after being the victim of a recent burglary.
It was also announced that the first eight months following a £1.3million scheme to double ANPR camera coverage in the county had been a huge success, resulting in more than 340 arrests, 627 vehicle seizures and 1,026 traffic offences being identified – sending a clear message to criminals that Northamptonshire is now a hostile place for them.
The £1.3m investment into #Northants #ANPR network has achieved significant results in the past eight months with 340 arrests made, 627 vehicle seizures, 310 intelligence-led searches, & 1026 traffic offences identified.
Read more: https://t.co/8vp8wCxTo6@AssocPCCs @Stephen_Mold pic.twitter.com/snLaWppYKZ
— NorthantsOPFCC (@NorthantsOPFCC) August 11, 2021
The month ended with the launch of new Commissioner funded CPR dolls to help Northamptonshire Fire’s prevention department and Emergency Services Cadets deliver lifesaving training skills across the county, while the successful Biker Down courses – a successful initiative between Northants Fire, Northamptonshire Police and the OPFCC – were restarted.
September began with the Commissioner announcing he was extending a fly-tipping removal scheme to help landowners and ended with the launch of two new Beat Buses for Northamptonshire. The Beat Buses, funded by the Commissioner, give greater access to policing services in some of the county’s more remote and rural communities, as well as providing a useful focal point for community engagement.
A newly appointed retail crime investigator was announced in October to help Northamptonshire businesses receive extra support in bringing persistent shoplifters to justice. The specialist role, filled by retired Northamptonshire Police Detective Paul Franks, is part of a 12-month trial scheme in North Northamptonshire funded by the Commissioner.
A new retail crime investigator, funded by the PFCC, will help Northants businesses receive extra support to bring persistent & violent shoplifters to justice.
Investigator Paul Franks (pictured) will work closely with local retail firms & @northantspolicehttps://t.co/A0IzbrDOsU pic.twitter.com/XSb4CwQPzC
— NorthantsOPFCC (@NorthantsOPFCC) October 6, 2021
October also saw a new 24/7 hotline – jointly funded by the Commissioner and the two unitary authorities – set up for people to report incidents of hate crime. And Stephen Mold also launched his first ever Police, Fire and Crime Plan for Northamptonshire, putting his key priorities out for consultation with the public, with more than 1,000 people responding and endorsing the Plan.
November saw more success in securing grants from the Home Office, with Northamptonshire awarded £300,000 from the Safety of Women at Night Fund. The funding will be used on a series of projects to prevent violence in the night-time economy in Northampton and include measures to target the perpetrators of harassment or violence directed at women.
The month ended with the Commissioner welcoming clear signs of progress in the performance of Northamptonshire Police in the latest published report by HMICFRS. Mr Mold said: “This confirms my view that the Force is on a positive journey, that it has made strong steps forward and is heading in the right direction.”
Northamptonshire's Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner @Stephen_Mold has welcomed the clear signs of progress in @NorthantsPolice's performance in a report by @HMICFRS published today 24 November.
Read more here:https://t.co/G2wuGv2Y6A pic.twitter.com/vxGuPXkky0
— NorthantsOPFCC (@NorthantsOPFCC) November 24, 2021
The year culminated with the launch of the new Safer Nights Out Van (SNOvan), a Commissioner funded vehicle that offers help and support to vulnerable people and women who are on nights out in Northampton. Parked up in the town centre, more than 150 people were helped in its first weekend in operation.
And after heavy lobbying of the Government, the Commissioner welcomed the news that he would be able to ask for an additional £5 a year for Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service – the second lowest funded service in the country – in the latest round of council tax precepts. His proposals, including a £10 a year increase on policing, are currently out for consultation and will be settled in the New Year.