Local policing model increases focus and accountability for communities
Northamptonshire Police has introduced a new model to increase focus on local communities.
The new policing model creates two Local Policing Areas (LPAs) covering the West and the North of the county.It gives people a named senior officer responsible for policing and tackling crime in their area.
Chief Superintendent Mick Stamper has overall responsibility for the local policing command and is supported by Supt Chris Hillery, who is responsible for the West LPA and Supt Dennis Murray, who is responsible for the North LPA. They are each supported by a chief inspector overseeing response and neighbourhood policing and a detective chief inspector heading the area-based CID.
Each area also has a dedicated team that works across the area to focus on specific issues and crimes.
The West LPA covers Northampton, Daventry and South Northamptonshire and the North LPA covers Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said:“I am confident that the move to two policing areas will be a change for the better that will bring an even greater local focus, with a local response to local concerns.
“This change is part of the Chief Constable’s plans to reshape the Force and I share his drive to make sure that police are visible and accessible in the communities they serve and can respond effectively.I’m looking forward to seeing how this new model will deliver an even better service to the public.”
Bobby Buddies start conversation about domestic violence
Volunteers from across the county have been busy knitting teddy bears for officers to give to comfort children at incidents.
The 800 bears donated to the Force so far are being named ‘Bobby Buddies’ and are the result of an appeal from the Domestic Abuse Prevention and Investigation Team (DAPIT).
Many of the bears have been received along with notes telling of the knitters’ own experiences, or explaining how the experience of knitting them has opened up some honest conversations of abuse.
This is just one of a number of community safety initiatives to receive support from the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold, who awarded this project £1,000.
“This initiative has generated an incredible reaction, and we’ve had some really touching feedback,” Stephen said. “Some of the teddies were donated anonymously and some were left with thank you notes for help that police officers have given in the past.
“I’m full of admiration to all the knitters out there for their overwhelming support, and to the DAPIT team for their great idea.”
If you’re an expert with a pair of knitting needles and would like to help, please email Rachel.Percival@northants.pnn.police.uk
Plan for joint working to tackle domestic abuse
A new countywide domestic abuse and sexual violence strategy has been developed to guide work being carried out to tackle abuse in communities across Northamptonshire.
The strategy has been prepared and led by the office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner on behalf of the Northamptonshire Community Safety Partnership.
It brings together and builds on the work being done by the members of the Northamptonshire Community Safety Partnership on this issue and make Northamptonshire a place where “everyone can live safely and experience healthy relationships without the threat of domestic abuse or sexual violence”.
Domestic abuse affects thousands of people in Northamptonshire every year: 16,139 incidents of domestic abuse were recorded by Northamptonshire Police between September 2017 and December 2018 and 4.6% of domestic abuse incidents have a sexual element.
The Office of Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has already put in place a number of initiatives, some in partnership with Northamptonshire Police, including a new programme to ensure that first time abuse offenders who would be cautioned, have to attend a programme to tackle their abusive behaviour and prevent reoffending.
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said:“Domestic abuse has no place in Northamptonshire. I have already set in place a number of actions from my side, and I look forward to this contribution being part of an overall plan that ensures the right support is available for those who need it.”
Major growth in number of Northamptonshire firefighters
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is to grow in strength for the first time in five years.
A recruitment drive has just taken place to net 32 whole-time firefighters.Twenty of these will be needed over the course of the year to fill posts that become vacant as serving firefighters leave or retire.
Twelve of these posts are brand new, growing the strength of the Fire Service from 242 to 254 – 12 extra firefighters to keep Northamptonshire safe.
NFRS will also purchase seven new vehicles – five fire engines and two water rescue vehicles – to replace ageing and outdated equipment.
The recruitment drive has been made possible by the transfer of governance to Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.
This meant that the portion of the council tax collected for the Fire Service will only be spent on the Fire Service.
The Chief Fire Officer and his team now have control of fire service resources and are able to create a capital investment programme and plan for the future.
Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey said: “At Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service we pride ourselves in working as hard as possible, with the resources available to us, to keep the people in this county safe. This extra investment in more firefighters and vehicles is very welcome in helping us become even more resilient and to strengthen the support we give to the community in dealing with emergencies, as well as preventing them.”
PFCC Stephen Mold said:“I’m really proud to have been able to support the Fire Service to quickly reach a stable position where this investment can be made to increase the number of firefighters in the county and so enhance the capacity of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.”
New Government funding supports plans for extra police officers
The Government has announced funding that will enable Northamptonshire Police to recruit an additional 57 officers by the end of 2021.
These extra officers will be in addition to the 200 new officers that Northamptonshire Police is currently recruiting as a result of the local council tax increase.This will take the Force to 1310 officers, back to the numbers of nine years ago in 2010.
The Government’s promise to increase numbers could see Northamptonshire receive, in total, funding for around 190 more officers and that would take the Force to over 1500 officers by 2023.
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “This is great news for the people of Northamptonshire. People clearly tell me that they want to see more police and they want them to focus on fighting crime.
“I welcome the Home Office decision to invest in policing. The Chief Constable and I had already committed to increasing the number of police officers in Northamptonshire and this support from Government is more than welcome.”
Burglaries drop to 11 year low
The number of burglaries in Northamptonshire is at its lowest level since June 2008.
Northamptonshire Police set up a Burglary Team and launched Operation Crooked six months ago to make burglary a top priority for the Force. As part of the operation, the Burglary Team ensures that every burglary victim in Northamptonshire is guaranteed a visit from the Police.
Since the team was launched in April 2019, the number of home invasions has halved and is now at an 11 year low. During that period, 157 people have been arrested for burglary offences.
Detective Inspector Wayne Preece, said: “As a team, we are really pleased with the impact we have made in reducing burglaries across the county and we hope to make even more of a difference when our one year anniversary comes around.
“However, whilst having the lowest volume of burglaries in 11 years is definitely something to be proud of, we also acknowledge that there is still a lot to do and we will not become complacent.”
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said:“People told me that the police response to burglary is a top priority for them, so I was pleased that the Chief Constable agreed to this new focus on investigation. I am thrilled with the significant results achieved so far.”
Sunflower Centre joins Voice
Voice for Victims and Witnesses, the free, confidential support service for victims and witnesses of crime in Northamptonshire is to safeguard the provision of domestic abuse support in the county by incorporating the Sunflower Centre into its services.
The Sunflower Centre provides specialist support to the highest risk victims of domestic abuse and is a partnership-funded service, with funding from the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and others including the district and borough councils.
The move comes on the second anniversary of Voice being taken in-house to the Commissioner’s Office in October 2017.
Since then, contact rates and service levels for victims and witnesses have continued to improve.
In August 2019, Voice contacted 98.9% of over 3,000 victims of crime within a 72-hour window, at the same time as providing regular, ongoing emotional support to over 275 victims of crime, anti-social behaviour and road harm incidents.
Stephen Mold said:“Putting victims at the heart of justice is one of the cornerstones of my Police and Crime Plan and I’m confident that by incorporating the Sunflower Centre into its services, Voice is ensuring that we continue to deliver the support needed by some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.