Shake-up in Northants Police creates new area covering Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire police has launched a new model which creates two local policing areas in the county to improve accountability and visibility.
The county will be split into Northamptonshire North, covering Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough, and East Northants, and Northamptonshire West covering Northampton, Daventry and South Northants.
The new system comes into effect today (Monday, October 14) and is designed to improve public accountability by giving each area a named senior officer. In Northamptonshire North, Superintendent Dennis Murray is the Operations Superintendent.
Speaking to the Northamptonshire Telegraph, Supt Murray said: "As a command team, the public will start to know who their command team is, who's in charge.
"The benefit of all of this is that the public know who we are and before, that proved difficult."
Chief Superintendent Mick Stamper has overall responsibility for the local policing command and he said: "Kettering, Wellingborough, Corby and East Northamptonshire now have a dedicated police commander, Superintendent Murray.
"It is a point of contact, a point of accountability, they can raise their local issues with him and he's responsible for delivering those.
"It's really about bringing an operational structure that supports teamwork and ownership.
"The previous model has seen them working extremely hard in specific roles but it was clear we could be more joined up and work more closely with each other to achieve even better results.
"“The new approach brings together officers and staff from different functions and teams – including response, neighbourhoods, proactive, CID and intelligence – enabling them to work even more positively and proactively across their different roles, and be passionate and proud about fighting crime and dealing with the criminals operating on their patch.”
Stephen Mold, Northamptonshire's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: "I wholeheartedly support the chief's vision to make Northamptonshire Police more accountable, and that's really what this is about, actually having two areas that better reflect the geography of the county."
Supt Murray also said that the local policing areas will allow for better partnerships with groups like local authorities, schools, neighbourhood watch teams, retail crime initiatives and more.
He said: "This is about how to get more preventative. How do we get upstream of the problem of predict some of the issues we've got?
"We will have a problem solving meeting with partners who are invited to the table to talk about the issues they've got, how that fits in with the problems we've got, and agree what are our priorities together.
"I think that together is the key part, it's absolutely key that we work together.
"The council have wardens and we have PCSOs, we don't want them both out doing the same thing.
"We can start to have a more mature system that allows us to maximise the resources we've got."
Chief Supt Stamper said: "I don't expect the public to notice an immediate difference because the majority of the public have no interaction with the police for most of their lives, let alone on a daily basis.
"What I would like to think is people who live in those areas where crime challenges are there or greater will start to see their police, start seeing more officers."
Both Chief Supt Stamper and Police Commissioner Mold said the move was financially neutral.
Chief Supt Stamper said: "We're not growing to fund this model."
Mr Mold added: "Essentially, you've still got the same number of police officers - okay, it's growing as part of the announcements myself and the Chief Constable made in addition to the additional that we managed to persuade the prime minister to give us, so that will actually make is easier.
"There is some money we might save, but it's really not about saving or costing, it's about more efficient policing. It wasn't motivated by increasing or saving of money, it's about delivering better local policing."
Chief Supt Stamper added: "The new model will give an increased sense of local ownership and responsibility and, crucially, provide greater accountability to the public we serve. It’s the next step in our ongoing programme of work to take the organisation forward and ultimately ensure we deliver our core purpose to fight crime and protect our communities."