Leadership and the Fight Against Crime
There is a new (ish) sheriff in town and the impact of his command is already being felt at every level of Northamptonshire Police. His name is Nick Adderley and he has led our county’s force since August 2018.
I and the other Northamptonshire MPs met up with him, the Northamptonshire Police, Crime and Fire Commissioner and the Fire Chief in Parliament a few weeks ago for an in-depth briefing on the successes and challenges facing the Police and Fire Services in Northamptonshire. It was clear from the briefing that the Chief Constable is making a decisive and positive impact on the force.
Leadership matters and can make the difference between success and failure. The Chief Constable cares passionately about the men and women who serve with him and he is instilling a new belief and confidence in protecting Northamptonshire residents and he does so from the front. Last May, he pursued and arrested a mother with a 17-month-old child in the back who was driving at 122 miles per hour.
He has hit the national news too by offering his frontline officers tasers to defend themselves from violent incidents. In an interview with the press he said, “Enough is enough. Every week, I am made aware of more and more sickening attacks on my officers – they are spat at, assaulted on a daily basis and are being exposed to increasing levels of violence when they are deployed to incidents.”
With a recent spike in incidents of knife crime around the country, the force has made the decision to deploy tasers to those frontline officers who want to have them. The Chief Constable has successfully lobbied the Home Office for extra funding needed for tasers and other forces are now taking his lead.
Last year there were 213 crimes involving firearms, 609 crimes involving knives,392 possession of knife offences 408 drug trafficking offenses. On top of that there were 16,096 domestic abuse occurrences of which 45% were repeat victims. There were also 835 reported rapes, 1605 other sexual offenses recorded and 1135 occurrences of child sexual abuse/exploitation.
As a result of this the force has been targeting criminals by setting out out a clear policing plan which concentrated on those six areas which posed the greatest threat and risk. This included serious and organised crime, child abuse and exploitation, rape and sexual violence preventing/reducing road fatalities, residential burglary and domestic abuse.
Since setting up a dedicated burglary team, burglaries have plummeted by over 30%. The proactive drugs and serious crime teams are also having a significant impact and have successfully arrested and charged over 150 people involved in drug dealing and other serious crimes over the last few months.
The Force is now embarking on a huge change programme call the ‘Futures Project 2025’, to improve service performance and drive the cultural changes needed to meet future policing challenges. Last month, I reported plans to recruit an extra 391 officers to bring the force strength up to 1500 officers, the highest it has ever been in the history of the force.
The Chief Constable and the Northamptonshire Police, Crime and Fire Commissioner are also investing heavily in new technology with platforms like Qlik, which allows officers to use all of their information systems into one place and Pronto which lets officers use systems on their mobile phones.
Police morale is up in Northamptonshire Police, significantly up. They have extra resources at their disposal, and this is an immensely exciting time for Northamptonshire Police with the Chief Constable deserving a large share of the credit for these positive changes.