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27th Sep 19
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold has acknowledged the findings of the HMIC effectiveness review of Northamptonshire Police, published today (September 27).
Stephen said that he is confident that the report – completed very early in 2019 and reflecting the Force in late 2018 – does not reflect the current position of Northamptonshire Police. He said that he recognises that the Force is totally focussed on improving the policing service for the people of Northamptonshire and added
“There is no doubt that this report makes disappointing reading and I thank the Inspectors for their thorough review, the information they provide and their advice is very helpful in my role of holding the Chief Constable to account and reflect the concerns I had already voiced to him,” Stephen said. “However this is the result of an inspection that took place more than nine months ago, it does not reflect Northamptonshire Police as it is performing today.
“The Chief Constable had only just joined Northamptonshire Police when the review took place late in 2018 and so he hadn’t set the clear priorities and new focus that is now reshaping the Force. Nevertheless, I take this report very seriously and fully acknowledge the areas of concern which, despite the considerable movement forward, need the Force’s full attention.”
Stephen said that in the nine months since the report, the Force had taken a firm grip of crime and investigation and put a new focus on burglary that has improved detection rates to 18% – among the highest in the country – and is on target to reduce the number of burglaries by more than 35% this year.
He said that other achievements include that the Force has:
“I am more confident than I have ever been that this Force is improving, putting the focus on the areas that matter to people such as answering calls more quickly, timely and thorough investigation, targeting burglary, using technology to make sure police are in the right place at the right time – these are changes that I can see and I hope that people can feel a difference,”
“There will be more police in Northamptonshire within the next two years: almost 100 new officers funded through local council tax are being recruited and the Government announced that we will have funding for just under 200 further officers. All of this will be complemented by the Force’s move to a territorial policing model, which will make the Force even more accountable to local needs and bring a local response to local problems,” Stephen said.
“However I do believe that despite the increased funding we have received, there is still an underlying problem with our funding, where Northamptonshire Police receives around £8 less per head of population from the Government than other Forces the HMIC says are most similar to us. We are one of the fastest growing counties in the country and we need recognition that this county deserves more.”
Stephen said that he will be continuing to ask the Chief Constable to report on progress regularly to ensure that the pace of improvement continues.
“My role is to hold the Force to account through the Chief Constable on behalf of local people and I am well aware that there is still much to do. I have ensured that the Chief has the resources he needs, with a bigger budget than ever before.
“I want people to feel the difference in their policing service and I am confident that the next inspection will recognise how far the Force has come.
Stephen has raised the delay between the Inspection taking place and the report being received with the policing minister.
“Feedback is vital to any organisation but only if it is more timely,” Stephen said. “I don’t think it is helpful to the public or to officers and staff to receive this feedback after so many critical improvements have been made and while we take the report to heart, we also have to acknowledge the Force’s many achievements.”