'Biggest recruitment drive in a generation' will make Northamptonshire 'a hostile place for criminals'
The county’s crime commissioner has hailed the launch of a recruitment drive as the biggest in a generation – as the force looks to hire 200 new constables over the next two years.
Earlier today, Stephen Mold revealed a £3million investment in frontline officers at Northamptonshire Police.
Over the next two years the police force will look to hire 200 new constables which, when resignations and retirements are taken into account, will see 100 extra bobbies on the beat across the county.
Speaking to the Chronicle & Echo today, Mr Mold said the new officers would be concentrated in neighbourhood teams where the resources are most needed – providing a more visible street presence.
He said: “This is the biggest recruitment in a generation for Northamptonshire- but we are very clear that it’s an ambition.
“It would be a shame to get to two years and not have the best cops we could have – so I would rather be two months late in achieving it.
“By actually having those extra resources it gives the chief constable more opportunity to reorganise the force in a more optimal way.”
Mr Mold and the Chief Constable Nick Adderley have, in the past year, been meeting members of the public to discuss their concerns over crime.
One of the main responses they said they received related to ‘visibility’ - people told the police chiefs they did not see enough bobbies on the beat. Concerns over low-level drug dealing, burglary and rural crime also featured heavily.
With the recruitment drive being paid for by a rise in the police portion of household council tax bills in Northamptonshire, Mr Mold said it was important the new staff were tasked with pounding the beat.
The extra officers, he says, also come with a new pledge that every burgled home will be visited by an officer.
“If people are paying more they have genuinely got to see more,” he said. "We want to make this a hostile place for criminals."
“We hope no-one is a victim of burglary. But if you are and it’s your home, you need to have that confidence that someone is coming to visit you."
The feeling of a greater police presence, Mr Mold added, would be increased by recent technological improvements. Officers, for instance, can now perform 17 tasks on a standard-issue smartphone that would previously been done behind their desk.
But Chief Constable Nick Adderley said the new officers would not simply be deployed "on every street corner".
"They will be targeted in those areas where we have the most challenges," he said.
"It won't be a case of you'll see a different bobby on a different street corner in case someone might want to come along and talk to them.
"They will be there with a purpose and an objective. Now what's important, certainly from a rural crime angle, is that those remote villages will start to see a more visible presence.
"That's about attending surgeries, going to schools and community meetings so they can get a flavour of what's going on in their area."
Recruitment of the new officers has begun and anyone interested in applying to join Northamptonshire Police should visit www.northants.police.uk/careers