The new police commissioner for Northamptonshire has pledged to get tough on drunks who cause trouble in the county’s town centres.
Conservative Adam Simmonds won the election to be Northamptonshire’s first police and crime commissioner (PCC) last week.
One of the 35-year-old’s key manifesto pledges in the build-up to the election was to reduce violent crime by 40 per cent during his first term in office.
He also said he would make anti-social behaviour a force-wide priority, with the aim of dramatically reducing crimes.
Talking to the Chron after his election victory, he said he had been shocked, when joining nights on patrol with police officers, to see people having sex in the open and urinating in the street.
Pledging to clamp down on such alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour, he said: “I think people need to know that if they break the law and behave badly in Northamptonshire, they will go to court and get a criminal record which will change their lives.”
One of the most popular areas for late-night drinking in Northamptonshire is Bridge Street, in Northampton town centre, which is known to atract drinkers from across the country.
Mr Simmonds said: “I want our towns to be successful, but having people throwing up in the town centre is not a mark of success.
“I want people to go out and have fun and if they want to drink, that’s fine. It’s when it builds into anti-social behaviour it becomes a problem.”
The new commissioner secured his job following an election which saw fewer than 20 per cent of the county’s residents vote. But Mr Simmonds said he believed he had a greater mandate than members of the police authority he had replaced, as they were not elected to sit on the body.
He also said he would not aim to make the job of commissioner a political one: “I’m not going to run the police, the chief constable will do that and I’ll hold him accountable for how well he does it.
“And I’m not the ‘Conservative police commissioner’, I’m the Northamptonshire commissioner.
“I’ve been elected by the people of Northamptonshire, so I’m accountable to them, not the Conservative Party.”
After winning the election last week, Mr Simmonds was due to start work as police commissioner today.
He said: “In five years’ time, I would like people to say ‘Adam has put more police on the streets’ and I would like them to be confident when they dial 999 that they’re going to get a good response.
“But I know these things aren’t going to be straightforward.”
In his first days in the job, Mr Simmonds is expected to set up a team to help him carry out his job and start work on the following year’s police budget.
He will also spend time trying to win over police officers and the public.
He said: “I know people will be cynical, whatever I say.
“Across the country, the new police commissioners have got to win people over.”