Northamptonshire Police chief: no mercy for gang members who choose not to stop ruining lives

On patrol with Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley
On patrol with Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley

Gang members who reject the chance to leave will not be tolerated, according to the Northamptonshire Police chief as he praised work done to combat the issue.

Chief Constable Nick Adderley hailed a new scheme which is finding success in encouraging children not to join gangs and current members to get out but a word of warning for those who refuse 'the olive branch.

Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) works with agencies across the county to intervene with people who are either on the periphery of gang involvement or already immersed in gang-related criminality, with previous success in Glasgow and the US.

In its first six months, 450 people were referred to the scheme, with 60 per cent of those being under 18.

"CIRV has been a massive success story that now is getting that early intervention and methodology to make sure that we prevent young people from getting involved in gangs as early as we possibly can," he said during a discussion about his first year in charge.

"But equally working with gang members to give them options and opportunities to come out of that culture.

"Because what we have found, and some of the research that we've done with Glasgow has shown, that a number of these gang members, they want to get out but they're not quite sure how to get out and what routes to take.

"So CIRV is doing that twin-track approach so a. we prevent people from getting involved in the first place, but b. that we are allowing people an opportunity to get out.

"But the final element of that is making sure that should they not choose to do that and take the olive branch, then the full force of the law will be upon them.

"Then it's not only their lives that are ruined, it's their families' lives and their loved ones' lives that are also ruined, so it's working very well so far and we're very pleased with it."

Last month a man was shot and stabbed at a football match in the Eastern District and another man was stabbed outside Sol Central, while there have been an 'unprecedented' amount of murders in the town this year.

Ch Cons Adderley also welcomed Boris Johnson's pledge to recruit 20,000 more officers across the country, equating to 200 more in Northamptonshire - taking the force to its highest number of officers in its history.

A recruitment campaign would begin in September to 'protect the public and cut crime', according to the Prime Minister.

The Northamptonshire police chief said the 'noise' was very encouraging but it will be a 'huge challenge' as more officers are needed to account for those that leave and only one in 10 applicants are successful.

"What that will mean here in Northamptonshire is we will get an additional 200 police officers on top of the 200 that both the commissioner and I have committed to delivering by the end of next year, and that will take the number of police officers in Northamptonshire to the highest number in its history," he said.

"Now that's great news but one of the really important things is what we do with those numbers and not necessarily the numbers themselves."

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