Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable lays out plans for each of the force’s main priorities
“They are all quality of life issues that are not only born out of statistical increases but from consultations we’ve had with the public.”
Earlier today (May 18), Northamptonshire Police announced its four priority areas for the coming year as part of a new campaign called ‘A Matter of Priority’
During the next 12 months, the force has pledged to focus on domestic abuse, knife crime, anti-social behaviour and serious organised crime.
Within each type of crime, new measures, training or campaigns will be introduced to enable the force to decrease the number of victims of crime.
The Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Nick Adderley, spoke to this newspaper to give a more in depth insight into what work will be completed as part of each of these priorities and how progress will be measured.
Chief Constable Adderley said: “We decided to announce these priorities in a public facing as they are all quality of life issues that are not only born out of statistical increases but from consultations we’ve had with the public.
“They are the public’s concerns and we need to tackle them head on.”
As part of the force’s domestic abuse priority, all officers will be given training on the matter to raise awareness.
Chief Constable Adderley added: “We want to become better investigators in this area.
“Training has already started. It began around seven or eight months ago.
“The (HMICFRS) recommendations also said that investigating crimes was lacking so work on that has already started and now officers coming through all get training at the first opportunity.
“These are skills that I want all officers to take forward in their careers.
“We also have our ‘look closer’ campaign which encourages officers to dig deeper with professional curiosity in domestic settings.”
Tackling knife crime is another of the force’s priorities, as officers continue to work with young people, as last month alone, one in three knife-related offenders were under 18.
Chief Constable Adderley continued: “I have always said police will not solve knife crime on its own. We need education within schools, colleges and at home.
“Education is first and foremost. From an enforcement side, there is stop and search where there are issues across the UK and we’re no exception here.
“We will continue working on ethics surrounding this to make sure we are doing it in the right areas and targeting the right people.
“We also want to push through stiffer sentences for those who do carry and use knives.
“People are more likely to carry a blade than a firearm because the sentence will be a lot less but the devastation is the same.”
As anti-social behaviour (ASB) has increased by 15 percent across Northamptonshire in the last year, the force will now also be prioritising reducing this type of crime.
“This is the priority that the public are really anxious about, whether that’s e-scooters or kids kicking a football against a garage door,” Chief Constable Adderley said.
“Neighbourhood policing is doubling in size to tackle this and we want to build a closer relationship with people in the hot spot areas.
“Where the hot spot areas are for ASB is where we see increasing levels of criminal damage and assault, so if we can decrease ASB we can decrease the other crimes too.
“It’s all about people feeling safe and confident in their own homes.”
The complex area of serious organised crime is the final priority for the force as county line drug networks and modern slavery are tackled.
Chief Constable Adderley added: “Street level drug dealing is all part of SOC, which is what the public have said needs tackling, as well as modern day slavery and street gangs.
“We have now started to get ahead of the game in terms of understanding how they work and we can intervene much sooner.
“It is a county force but there are metropolitan issues to deal with.
“As the economy starts to grow, we need to get into businesses and the community and make sure people are not being exploited, as well.”
As the force sets out to tackle these four issues over the next year, the Chief Constable confirmed that there will be a procedure in place to track progress.
He continued: “We will be tracking performance so the public can see what is happening in a way that makes sense.
“We have developed a performance framework to track the difference we are making and the reduction of the number of victims of crime, which is one of the key priorities that has to be achieved from this.”