Major plans unveiled to restructure Northamptonshire Police
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Chief Constable Nick Adderley has today (Wednesday, July 17) announced plans for a major restructuring of the Force along geographical lines which will deliver more effective, responsive and visible policing to communities across Northamptonshire.
The new model, to take effect this autumn, will see the creation of two local policing areas, in the north and the west of the county, which will ensure better ownership, accountability and flexibility and enable the Force to manage demand better.
Each will be headed by a superintendent and aligned with the new unitary authorities due to replace the existing county, district and borough councils in April 2021.
Among other core policing functions, CID will be locally based, managed through a protective services command that would include serious crime, intelligence and public protection.
News of the remodelling programme is the latest in a line of key announcements by the Force, ahead of a report later this year by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).
They include a high profile recruitment drive which is on track to ensure there are 100 extra warranted police officers on the streets of Northamptonshire within the next two years, funded by an increase in council tax which has given the Chief Constable an operational policing budget in 2019/20 of £130 million - £11.6million more than 2018/19 and almost £20 million more than 2017.
And this month saw the launch of a new investigation team, based at Force Headquarters, which is providing a more efficient and timely way to record and investigate low-level crime, including minor theft and criminal damage.
Mr Adderley said: “Some very significant improvements to the way we operate have already taken place since I took over almost 12 months ago and I’m confident this new model will make Northamptonshire Police even better placed to deliver our core purpose of fighting crime and protecting people.
“We continue to face clear challenges within the county, but we are making real inroads as demonstrated by the success of the new dedicated burglary squad we established earlier this year and the fact that, in a few days time we will have 19 people appearing in court following Op Serpent, a major strike against County Lines operating between Kettering and London.
“There is still work to do, but I have complete confidence in our hard-working and very dedicated officers and staff to drive and deliver changes which will bring real positive change to the communities we serve. Crucially, we are working closely with HMICFRS and have a clear plan in place which focuses on improving performance across the organisation.”
PFCC Stephen Mold said the jointly-developed plan has already resulted in:
Easier contact with the police for less-urgent matters by ensuring that no caller has to wait more than five minutes on the phone without being offered a call-back. This complements the improvements that have already been made in answering 999 calls, where the Force and is now in the top 10
The introduction of the new investigation team at Wootton Hall meant victims were now contacted in a more timely way by an investigator, who provides one point of contact and deals quickly and efficiently with their crime report, discusses, identifies and actions any investigative opportunities that arise from it and gives professional advice
The new approach to burglary meant every victim of household burglary was visited by police, a move which is projected to reduce the number of offences by up to a third over the next few months
But Mr Mold said these improvements in performance were unlikely to be reflected in the HMICFRS report of the Force that will be published in September following an inspection that began in 2018 and ended in early January 2019.
He said: “Since I appointed Nick Adderley as Chief Constable last July, he has identified and taken a grip of the issues that have impacted on the Force and has a clear plan to improve performance. We have already seen a much stronger focus on dealing with crime and a commitment to robust enforcement, including the new approach to burglary, the crackdown on organised crime groups and a better service for people who report crime.
“I believe the report we receive in September will tell us that there is still much to do – and I am confident that work is underway. We are engaging at a national level with the Inspectors, the Treasury, the College of Policing and others as we work through the shared improvement plans and I have asked the Chief Constable what support he needs to enable him to make improvements as quickly as he can. The Force has a bigger budget than ever this year but I am also continuing to work hard at a national level to secure a better financial deal from the Government.
“I want people to feel the difference in the policing service they receive and then I want Northamptonshire Police to be recognised by the Inspectorate as good when judged against other Forces. I am confident that the next inspection will acknowledge the clear improvements that are being made.”