A pilot scheme to find the best ways to police Northamptonshire in the future will be run in the north of the county for the next 12 months.
The county force launched its Policing The Future project this month.
The All Saints area of Kettering, and Oundle and surrounding villages, have been chosen for the pilot scheme and will see intensive work carried out to both tackle crime and improve 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.”
A new style of policing will be developed, with extensive community engagement 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.
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 Supt 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.”
Tips and advice to thwart the burglars and thieves
A number of activities have already been carried out as part of Policing The Future project.
High visibility patrols around the All Saints and Brambleside area of Kettering which found 20 houses with their front doors unlocked and 11 cars which had not been secured properly. The home and car owners were given crime safety advice.
Shopkeepers in Kettering town centre had their crime prevention techniques checked and were given advice on how to prevent shoplifting.
During a speeding operation, eight vehicles were caught in Kettering, including one doing 53mph in a 30mph zone.
Crime safety advice was given out to residents during a community safety day.
Shoppers in Kettering town centre were given advice about how to use cashpoints more safely.
Crime figures for the two areas chosen for the pilot scheme (from September 1, 2013, to August 31, 2014):
Kettering All Saints area
Total crimes: 1,045
House burglaries: 56
Thefts from vehicles: 43
Thefts of vehicles: 15
Oundle area (the figures include an area stretching between Fineshade and Woodford)
Total crimes: 835
House burglaries: 76
Thefts from vehicles: 112
Thefts of vehicles: 40