"Through sheer grit and determination at every level the quality of our service has improved", says Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley
Annual report highlights more bobbies on the beat, greater investment and satisfaction levels rising
Chief Constable Nick Adderley says improvements at Northamptonshire Police are being made through "sheer grit and determination" of its officers and staff.
In his third annual report Mr Adderley points to how the past 12 months have seen really significant progress across a number of key areas — recognised by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services.
Mr Adderley's arrival in August 2018 was followed by a damning independent inspector's report in early 2019 which highlighted a range of areas where the Force was inadequate or required improvement.
That set the Force, led by the Chief, on its current path to drive up performance and quality of service.
He admitted: “The challenge for Northamptonshire Police has been significant. However, through sheer grit and determination at every level the quality of our service has improved and we are now delivering in line with what the public want and expect.
"Overall satisfaction in the Force is the highest it has been for five years and across our identified priorities in 2020/21, domestic abuse and burglary satisfaction reached the highest levels ever witnessed.
"This demonstrates that what we are doing is right and we will continue to build on our good work and improve the quality of the service
"I embarked upon a radical and transformative approach, changing the Force’s operating model and ensuring the policing services delivered across the county put victims of crime at the heart of all that we do.
"In March 2021, HMICFRS formally recognised the improvements we had made, endorsing the changes we had applied to investigate crime better, to protect vulnerable people and to understand demand placed upon the service.
"Her Majesty's Inspector Zoe Billingham described the challenge as being one of winning hearts and minds and I have no doubt these improvements are merely the building blocks for what is still to come.
"This past year we have focused on greater visibility and enhancing neighbourhood policing.
"As Chief Constable, I have set out a new neighbourhood policing strategy centred on putting bobbies back on the beat, right at the heart of our communities where we can build enduring relationships enabling us to prevent and detect crime.
"Work continues at pace to double the number of neighbourhood officers by March 2023, delivering a vision of a better connected and a more accessible and contactable police service.
"Neighbourhood policing has been redefined and we have created 34 local policing beats under eight policing sectors, aligning our services with the new unitary councils across the north and west of the county.
"As this model of Policing with Purpose develops and embeds, residents will begin to know their local officers and have confidence in greater visibility as a sign of proactivity and deterrence, driving criminals out of this county and keeping our communities safe.
"As part of my force priorities, I made a commitment to the public for Northamptonshire Police officers and PCSOs would spend more time in the community, utilising mobile technology that enables them to spend less time in the station and more time in the areas they police.
"In 2019 I introduced a series of performance outcomes, these included greater visibility equating to 60 percent time out of station. In January 2020 performance data shows that the overall time out of station across all districts and boroughs was above 55 percent and in some parts of the county, this exceeded 60 percent.
"This has continued to rise through 2021 and further investment in technologies will further enhance this as we head into 2022.
"The public in Northamptonshire are seeing greater police presence and should feel reassured by this."
Among the performance highlights identified in the Chief's report are:
■ Higher levels of proactive policing which have led to 10,000 additional crimes being identified
■ Satisfaction levels at their highest for five years with rates among victims of domestic abuse and burglary now standing at record levels
■ Significant and hugely successful efforts to raise awareness among officers around vulnerability and the protection and safeguarding of children in particular
■ A review of neighbourhood policing which is putting beat officers back in the heart of communities, increasing visibility and raising public confidence
■ A Force with more officers than ever before and on target to have almost 1,500 by 2022-23 and – increasingly - a more diverse workforce, better reflecting the wider Northamptonshire community
■ Investment in ANPR cameras to deter criminals from our roads and a new Skoda Octavia VRS interceptor fleet to reduce crime, deaths and KSIs on the county’s road network.
And there is more to come. Mr Adderley added: "I have written a five-year vision for Northamptonshire Police, focusing on how we will prevent crime in the future and helping to create a safe environment to live and work that promotes life chances.
"There has never been a better time to work together with our new partner local authorities, North Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire Council, to address the root cause of systemic issues that are a priority for us all.
"The next 12 months will be focused on not only improving performance and the quality of our service but preventing and intervening at the earliest opportunity.
"The nature of crime is evolving, and the highest proportion of our demand is crime that happens in the privacy of our lives. These hidden high harm crimes are resource-intensive, vitally important to respond to and, crucially, safeguard the most vulnerable in society.
"My plan is to invest further in prevention, to understand better our problems through shared analysis and to ensure we have the right services in place to reduce demand over time. This investment will release capacity for officers and staff to continue to deliver high levels of proactive crime and visibility, whether that be dismantling cannabis factories, taking high risk domestic abusers away from victims and children or tackling gangs and anti-social behaviour.
"We are in a much-improved position today, but we are ambitious and we have more work to do to be the excellent policing service I know my officers and staff want to achieve as much as I do."