Crooks are making up for their lockdown losses, warns Northamptonshire Police chief

'Even criminals have business plans and when plans get disrupted they need to recover that ground,' says Nick Adderley

By Kevin Nicholls
Friday, 13th November 2020, 3:01 pm
Updated Friday, 13th November 2020, 7:26 pm
Northamptonshire's Chief Constable Nick Adderley
Northamptonshire's Chief Constable Nick Adderley

Police believe crime levels are rising in Northamptonshire despite the lockdown as crooks try to recoup losses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Calls from the public dropped dramatically between March and June as the county stayed at home, allowing the Force to divert resources to enforcing lockdown laws.

But Chief Constable Nick Adderley admitted: "While crime fell significantly during the initial lockdown, what we are seeing now is crime levels increasing to above what they were before March.

"One of the big reasons for that is that even criminals have business plans and when business plans get disrupted as they did they need to recoup and recover that ground.

"It's early days because we're still less than a week into this second lockdown, but so far we've only seen a minor drop in calls from the public.

"Demand is high and we're doing a lot of work targeting organised crime groups. But the public will still see the same level of officers out on street because our officers are working overtime and putting in extra shifts to make that happen."

Rises in crimes involving child sex exploitation and domestic abuse are causing most concern, although Mr Adderley told Tuesday's Facebook Live Q&A that plans are in place to tackle that area.

The Chief Constable also faced questions over cash generated by fines for breaching Covid-19 regulations going straight in the Northamptonshire Police coffers.

Officers in the county issued 374 coronavirus-related fines between March and mid-October and Police chiefs say that number will rise sharply when the next set of figures is published later this month.

Anybody breaching the Covid-19 restrictions with large gatherings or not wearing a face mask is liable to a £100 fine which can be doubled for subsequent offences.

Mr Adderley said: "All the money from fines goes to the Treasury.

"There are many questions around this being a money-making exercise for the Police, but we don't get the money.

"We have had additional funding made available by the Government during the pandemic and we are very grateful for that. But in terms of fines we don't get any of that.