OPINION: Northamptonshire Police and Fire Services are ‘not fit for purpose'

At a public meeting in Brackley Town Hall at the weekend (on Saturday 2 March), Danielle Stone, the Labour and Cooperative Party candidate for the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner position, told residents that that the county’s Police and Fire Services are not fit for purpose and that lives are being put at risk.
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“The current Conservative Northants PFCC has lost the confidence of staff and morale is at an all-time low. We have seen him make [a number of] Chief Constable appointments and Chief Fire Officer appointments in the last 8 years. Currently he has interim heads of service for both police and fire services. His recently appointed Fire Chief cannot take up her appointment because she is under investigation by the Independent Officer for Police Conduct (IOPC)for behaviour relating to her time as deputy chief constable at Avon & Somerset Police," she said.

Danielle says, “This is an utter shambles. Our safety depends on our police and fire services being well-managed, thriving organisations. It is time for change and on May 2nd you can vote for that change.”

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Danielle also told residents how minimum levels of fire crew are frequently unavailable. 14 engines are seen as the minimum level required at any one time, to keep the county’s residents safe. However, on 243 occasions in the past 2 years, this minimum level has not been met. People’s lives are being put at risk and this is just not acceptable.”

Residents from Brackley and the surrounding area attended the meeting.Residents from Brackley and the surrounding area attended the meeting.
Residents from Brackley and the surrounding area attended the meeting.

Northamptonshire residents will have their say on who they want to run the Police and Fire services in just a couple of months, on May 2.

Editor's note: This article previously included a quote to say that there had been five Chief Constable appointments in the last eight years. The Office of the Northamptonshire PFCC has asked to clarify that after the retirement of Simon Edens in 2018, Nick Adderley was appointed chief constable. A temporary chief constable was put in place for six weeks in 2023 and Ivan Balhatchet is currently in place as the acting chief constable for Northamptonshire police.