Feel the Force!
Northamptonshire officers lead the way with 21st century policing
AN intensive study into how policing should work across Northamptonshire – and potentially the whole country – in the future, has been launched locally.
Early last month, Northamptonshire Police launched its Policing the Future project, a 12-month pilot focusing on two distinct areas of the county – Kettering and Oundle. Intensive work will be carried out there on tackling crime and improving the quality of life for residents.
Chief Constable Adrian Lee said: “We want to show people what the future will look like now. So in one urban area of the county and one rural area we’re going to bring forward all our plans for transformation.
“We’re going to knock on doors and talk to people to ask them what their concerns are, what they want from the police and how the police, working with councils and volunteers, can make a better service and how they can contribute.”
The pilot project will focus on Oundle and its surrounding villages and the All Saints area of Kettering. It will see a new style of policing developed, with extensive community engagement used to identify people’s concerns and priorities for their area.
With work from Special Constables, volunteers and organisations such as local councils and health bodies, the police will also work to improve peoples’ feeling of safety and satisfaction with their area.
Extensive work will also be carried out to tackle problems such as alcohol misuse and road safety issues and Parish Constables will be introduced in some areas to work directly with the communities they live in.
Mr Lee said: “There will be a lot of changes happening at once. For example, increased numbers of Specials, volunteers and cadets – that will happen now.
“This is a real opportunity to show that by policing differently we can really make our part of the country safer.”
The project will be led by County Commander, Superintendent Andy Cox.
He said: “This pilot is a really high priority for the Force and a chance for us to deliver something new, which I am sure will be welcomed by the people of Oundle and those living in the All Saints area of Kettering.
“It will also provide a fantastic opportunity for our officers to work extremely closely with the community on a project which should provide a fascinating insight into the way policing will progress in the future, not only in Northamptonshire, but potentially across the whole country.”
The Policing the Future project is also backed by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Adam Simmonds.
He hopes the work will produce a national blueprint to show how policing can develop across Britain.
He said: “We want to demonstrate to the community, and to a national audience, what policing needs to look like in the 21st century.
“This to me is all about saying to the public ‘we know we need to do things differently’.
“But what’s really important is that it’s not just the police that need to be part of it; we want groups like the borough council, the health service and land owners to make a contribution, too.
“So we want more people to become Special Constables, more people to join Neighbourhood Watch and we want Streetwatch to be a real focus for people’s attention, so people can be a real part of the policing solution.”
The coming months will see an increased police presence in the two pilot areas as a variety of high-profile operations are carried out to tackle issues such as shoplifting, car crime and street drinking.
Work will also be carried out to improve relationships between young people and the police and look into the creation of community hubs where people could call in to see a police officer.
Pictured above – THE WAY FORWARD: PCC Adam Simmonds (left) talks to Chief Constable Adrian Lee and Kettering Inspector Richard Hall (centre).