Two extra police officers will be on patrol in Northampton town centre in the run up to Christmas in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour and shoplifting.
The new officers, who started on Saturday (November 24) will work alongside the existing neighbourhood policing team and staff from the borough council as part of a wider crime prevention campaign over the next six weeks.
There will be weekly joint information stalls on the Market Square that members of the public can visit to find out more about personal safety and crime prevention.
In addition, the extra police officers will complete targeted patrols of the Holy Sepulchre Church, Market Square, Drapery, Gold Street, Abington Street, St Peter’s Walk, Greyfriars, Bridge Street and Castilian Street, Monday through to Saturday.
Details of local services for rough sleepers, including Northampton’s emergency nightshelter, the street outreach team and the Hope Centre, will be promoted during this time.
The initiative, funded by the borough council, will run until Wednesday, January 2
Councillor Anna King, cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “Following reports from town centre businesses and members of the public, we entered into an agreement with Northamptonshire Police to provide additional police resource during the summer holidays, when such behaviour can increase further.
“During the six weeks of their activity in the summer, we saw real improvements to the town centre environment and the general feeling of safety for those that live, work or shop in the area.
“The work carried out by the two Council funded police officers, was received so well by businesses, the public and all of our partners that we are pleased to be repeating the activity in the weeks running up our Christmas and New Year celebrations.”
The Christmas crime prevention campaign follows a trial of the activities during the summer holidays.
In all, the summer action days resulted in the two borough council funded police officers providing 504 high visibility patrol hours and making 11 arrests for crimes including shoplifting, drugs and domestic assaults. They also attended 53 town centre incidents ranging from assaults to burglaries and theft, performed 207 alcohol seizures, gave 150 warnings to people cycling through the pedestrian areas of the town centre and performed 14 stop searches.
Chief Inspector James Willis from Northamptonshire Police said: “This is an important partnership with the borough council in support of our ongoing policing of Northampton town centre.
“The additional resources allocated for the Christmas and New Year period will tackle all types of crime and anti-social behaviour issues, working alongside local neighbourhood officers and those policing the night-time economy to disrupt offenders, reduce harm, improve safety and security and provide reassurance to those who live, work, shop or socialise in our county town."