A recent report by the National Audit Office on police funding has highlighted the pressures on police forces since 2010/11 and the increasing demand for services and the challenges of the present funding system.
Funding for policing in Northamptonshire comes from a central government grant (grant funding for the force has reduced by 14% between 2010/11 and 2018/19, £12.6m in cash terms) and money raised locally through the council tax precept.
The government grant has reduced by 29% in real terms (once inflation is taken into account) between 2018/19 and 2010/11.
On current projections, local council tax-payers will contribute more than 50% of the policing bill by 2024.
Northamptonshire Police and CrimeCommissioner Stephen Mold said: “It’s not fair that council tax-payers in this county should cover more of the costs of policing than people do in other parts of the country.
“I raised the precept this year so that we could give the Chief Constable £8 million more that the needed to invest in priority areas and that included funding 50 additional frontline staff to provide a direct service to the public. I will continue to ask the Home Office to review the funding arrangements to ensure they are fair and consistent across the country.”
Support to tackle business crime
Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold has supported the Northamptonshire Business Crime Partnership with a £15,000 grant to help fight retail crime in the county.
The Northamptonshire Business CrimePartnership (NBCP) manages the Northampton, Wellingborough, Kettering, SouthNorthamptonshire, East Northamptonshire, Rushden Lakes and Corby Retail CrimeInitiatives that together, have a total of
more than 450 members.
Funding from the Police and CrimeCommissioner will be used to assist theBusiness Crime Partnership to develop furtherwork to reduce and prevent retail crime,identifying prolific retail offenders and sharing information and intelligence with its members.
Stephen Mold, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, said: “Being able to help the NBCP helps to deliver a key part of thePolice and Crime Plan and demonstrates how important it is that all sectors of the community work together with the police to prevent crime and catch offenders.”
Mike Brennan, Chairman of the Northamptonshire Business Crime Partnership, said: “This funding is invaluable in helping the NBCP to support retailers across the county in the fight against retail crime and anti-social behaviour by providing them with the tools to prevent, disrupt and deter offenders.
“We are grateful to the PCC for his support which will allow us to expand further in the county to assist retailers at this challenging time for the retail sector.”
Rent scheme to help prevent reoffending
Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold is working with Nacro, BeNCH Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) and National Probation Service on a rent deposit scheme to help prevent people who are released from prison from reoffending.
This scheme is part of an overall strategy to tackle the causes of reoffending and help ex-offenders to be able to access private rented accommodation by paying deposits up front on their behalf. So far, nine deposits have been paid to ex-offenders.
Nationally, more than 50% of people who have been to prison go on to commit further crimes and 60% of people given a short term sentence go on to reoffend within 12 months.
Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold has supported the scheme with £15,000. Once a deposit on private rented accommodation has been paid, the borrower agrees to re-pay the deposit at an affordable rate, so that the money can be recycled to help more ex-offenders.
Stephen Mold, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “We know that someone leaving prison can struggle to find housing and that will then affect their chances of finding a job. This scheme will help people into accommodation quickly, so that they have a stable and secure platform from which to rebuild their life and reduce their chances of reoffending in the future.
Too much Bling? Give us a Ring!
That’s the message from officers in Northamptonshire who are looking to increase reports from the public on people who are living a lifestyle that is beyond their means through committing crime.
Officers are further ramping up their efforts in a new campaign to take criminals’ cash, cars and other property using the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. In Northamptonshire, some of the money recovered is used by the Police and Crime Commissioner to fund his local grant scheme that goes to support community groups and projects.
Confiscation proceedings can be brought after a person is convicted of drugs, fraud, or other offences where they have financially benefited. A confiscation order is granted which allows officers to retrieve the sum of the benefit made by criminals.
Northamptonshire Police hope Operation Bling will encourage the public to report on those who have not paid their confiscation orders in full or are living a lifestyle that seems too good to be true.
Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold, said: “I’m really pleased to back this important campaign that will make sure that in Northamptonshire, crime really doesn’t pay. Some of the money recovered goes towards our Safer Communities Fund to support groups doing good work in Northamptonshire so I strongly encourage people to let us know if they have any suspicions that someone is making money through crime.”
Voice is a free, confidential support service for anyone affected by crime in Northamptonshire.The Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold set up the service in October 2017 to providesupport and advice for victims and witnesses that is independent and flexible.
Services are available to anyone, whether a crime has been reported to the police or not and regardless of when or where it happened. Voice is here to help and support those affected by crime to cope and recover by providing practical and emotional support to victims and witnesses of crime whether they are an adult, child or young person.
The Voice Road Harm service provides support tobereaved families and witnesses in fatal road traffic collisions and also to victims and witnesses who have been involved in serious road traffic incidents. Voice also offers a Restorative Justice service to all victims of crime – if both victims and offenders agree – enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in finding a positive way forward.
Between April – June 2018 the witness care team helped to ensure almost 900 witnesses attendedcourts across the county.
From April to August, Voice received over 4,500 referrals and provided, immediate, practical or ongoing emotional support to over 550 victims affected by crime. Around 80% of the victims who were supported by Voice reported increased feelings of safety as a result.
Operation Close Pass launched to protect vulnerable road users
Northamptonshire Police has launched a road safety initiative to promote safer behaviour by all road users.
Promoting the message that roads are shared space for all who use them, Operation Close Pass will target drivers who endanger cyclists and horse riders by passing them too closely, reminding them of the appropriate safe passing distances and speeds, and taking enforcement action where necessary.
Vulnerable road users will also be given advice about how riding responsibly can enhance their safety. Cyclists failing to ride safely and legally will also be given penalty notices where appropriate.
PC Maureen Allsopp-Clarke, of the Safer Roads Team, said: “Operation Close Pass is about educating everyone that roads are shared spaces, where all users have a right to respect and a responsibility to help keep themselves and others safe.”
Operation Close Pass is part of a range of road safety work being undertaken by the force and partners Northamptonshire Highways and the Office of thePolice and Crime Commissioner.
Stephen Mold, Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “Every road user has a part to play in safety. As a cyclist, I feel vulnerable when drivers pass too close and this campaign will help other drivers betterunderstand that. We have a shared responsibilityto do what we can to prevent people being killed or seriously injured on Northamptonshire’s roads – this campaign is a step on the way.”