Councillor calls on PCC to address rise in 'urban crime' in Northampton

Danielle Stone raised her concerns at the council meeting on Thursday
Danielle Stone raised her concerns at the council meeting on Thursday

A county councillor has called on the Police and Crime Commissioner to address a rise in ‘urban crime’ in Northampton.

Councillor Danielle Stone registered her concern at a rise in sex-related crimes, trafficking, modern slavery, drug crime and prostitution in the town.

Her motion called for the council to pressure the commissioner to ‘prioritise where resources are allocated’ and for the County Safety Partnership to work with councillors and the PCC to draw up a strategy to ‘make our communities safe’.

She told full council at County Hall on Thursday morning: “We have had three non-domestic murders in Northampton recently. What’s going on? That’s intolerable.

“We suffer from inner-city issues, and we’re seeing an increased vulnerability in our communities.

“I was walking with one police officer the other night and he told me turn around.

"He told me that to my right there were three drug dens. He told me he knew they were there but that he couldn’t do anything about it because they don’t have the resources.

"Think what effect that is having on family life there?

“Because of austerity our communities are being deprived of necessary important services, and we are losing a lot of infrastructure that keeps our communities safe, inclusive and hopeful.

"The resilience we have built up steadily is now being undermined and making communities very vulnerable to gang-related activities.

“We need to have a much more robust approach to what’s going. We need to refresh what we are doing in partnership with police.”

But the Labour councillor’s motion was rejected by the majority Conservative council.

Tory councillor Robert Gough said: “I have concerns with this particular motion. This is not Northamptonshire town police, it’s policing for the whole county. So I don’t like the distinguishing between urban and rural areas.

“This is a matter for the chief constable and we should respect his officers' knowledge on where they need to deploy resources.

"They should be deciding that and we should not be dictating to them but supporting them. I can’t support the motion because it’s not the business of this chamber, but I do understand the concerns behind it.”