Mobile cells set to return to Northampton

editorial image

A mobile police ‘custody village’ is to return to Northampton town centre next weekend following a successful pilot in September.

The scheme, which sees excessively drunk people and troublemakers locked up and processed in mobile police cells parked outside All Saints Church, was run throughout September and will also be rolled out to Kettering.

The cells will return as part of a Christmas blitz to target rowdy revellers in Northampton in the run-up to the festive period.

Superintendent Richard James, who is leading the operation, said: “We have a high impact, county-wide initiative planned throughout December using a variety of tactics. We are going to prevent violent crime specifically through early interventions with those who may cause trouble. We are taking an educative approach through schools and with the wider community. We will take a robust approach to any who chose to break the law.

“For example, the ‘custody village’ which proved successful earlier this year will be in action in both Northampton and Kettering town centres. This local detention building will be used to detain individuals who are clearly drunk in a public place and also to protect those who are vulnerable through intoxication.

“Officers will be taking a robust approach and use the full range of powers available to exclude people from town centres for the whole Christmas period, and to detain and arrest those whose behaviour is unacceptable or criminal.”

Those arrested could be referred to a Drug and Alcohol Referral Scheme.

Supt James added: “People planning a night out to celebrate the festive season don’t want their evenings to be spoiled by the thoughtless few who do not control their behaviour. People who are drunk are significantly more likely to become either a victim or offender of crime. We’re raising awareness that being cautioned or arrested can seriously affect people’s lives, from ending up in prison to restricted job prospects.

“We want people to be able to celebrate Christmas and enjoy nights out in our town centres without that enjoyment being affected by those behaving in a violent way. We are sending a clear message that we will not tolerate such behaviour.”