** Issued on behalf of the Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Office of the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner **
Home Office Minister for Policing, Crime and the Fire Service Kit Malthouse MP visited Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service yesterday (Wednesday 14 August), on one of his first official visits in his new role.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold and Chief Constable Nick Adderley welcomed Mr Malthouse to Northamptonshire Police headquarters to discuss the local implications of the Government's announcements of 20,000 more police officers across the country and strengthened stop and search powers.
Mr Malthouse then met a group of police officers to discuss the Government's Front Line Review, before seeing the work of the Force Control Room and joining response officers dealing with incidents in Northampton.
Mr Malthouse's last stop was Mereway Fire Station, which is also a base for the Northampton Neighbourhood Policing Team and the police and fire fighters working together in the Joint Operations Team.
NPFCC Stephen Mold said: "I am delighted that the Policing Minister made visiting Northamptonshire a priority. I was grateful for the opportunity to discuss the Government's plans and what they will mean for us in Northamptonshire. We are already recruiting 200 extra officers to put almost 100 more on the streets by 2021, which is already on course to give the Chief Constable the most officers the Force has had for many years.
“The Government’s announcement will allow us to increase that strength even further and make sure Northamptonshire Police has the resources in all areas to keep the county safer.”
"I also took the opportunity to explain some of the unique challenges that we face, with our rapidly growing population, our location at the heart of the country’s strategic road network and where we face challenging issues of county lines and gang activity that are on a par with those of a metropolitan area.
“I have been encouraged by the Government’s increased focus on policing and criminal justice and I am looking forward to continuing the dialogue about how we strengthen Northamptonshire Police and rise to the challenge of making this county safer.”
CC Nick Adderley said: "Policing has never been more challenging and there is no doubt that officers and staff are stretched very thin. This was a welcome opportunity to show the Minister that we are striving in Northamptonshire to tackle threats posed by organised crime and cybercrime, while working to deliver more effective policing to the communities we serve.
“Alongside investment in officers, we need to ensure that we invest in the resources such as training and technology that enable our frontline to do their job more effectively. I was pleased to have the opportunity to have that discussion with the Minister.”
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Shaun Hallam said: “This was a great opportunity to show the Minister how the service has significantly improved since the change in governance to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner earlier in the year. We were able to explain how the change is improving financial stability and enhancing scrutiny of the Service in how we make Northamptonshire safer.
“We discussed the work we are doing to improve, including working more closely with our Police colleagues to share supporting functions so that we can focus on creating a stronger frontline and a safer county. While we still have a lot of areas to improve, it was an excellent opportunity to discuss these challenges directly with the Minister.”
Minister for Policing, Crime and the Fire Service Kit Malthouse said:
“I was delighted to visit Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service to meet senior leaders as well as police officers and firefighters on the frontline.
“I will do all I can to support the police as the Government recruits 20,000 new officers, and build on the excellent work being done by fire and rescue services.
“As I saw in Northamptonshire today, collaboration between police and fire under the governance of a Police Fire and Crime Commissioner can provide real benefits for the public and help each service better meet the demands and challenges they face.”