Police force fails to meet targets

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POLICE chiefs have defended the county’s force after it emerged they are on track to meet just three of eight performance targets for the past year.

Northamptonshire Police Authority yesterday heard the force is expected to miss a target to reduce violent crime in the county by five per cent between April last year and March 31.

It is also set to miss a target to reduce serious acquisitive crime, including robbery, burglary and car crime by 10 per cent this year.

A third target, to increase the number of violent crimes being solved, is also likely to be missed.

However, the force is expected to meet targets to increase public confidence and reduce anti-social behaviour, and are close to meeting two further targets, to increase satisfaction with the force and to solve more crimes in general.

Speaking at a meeting of the police authority yesterday, Chief Constable Adrian Lee said a lot of the force’s biggest improvements were in categories where targets have been missed.

In a report for the police authority he revealed burglary across the county was down by 10 per cent, meaning about 260 fewer incidents.

Mr Lee told members the force was still performing well, especially as it faces cuts of about £18m.

He said: “We have done all this with £8m or £9m less than we did the year before.

“It would be lovely to think you could take that money out without an impact but the reality is you can’t take millions out without an impact.”

The authority was also told money-saving measures have meant 42 more officers are required to effectively police the county.

The force said it wants to recruit from more than 160 PCSOs already working in Northamptonshire.

Mr Lee said 70 had already expressed an interest in becoming full-time officers.