Long may the Force be with us

The Police Helicopter patrols the skies
The Police Helicopter patrols the skies

Officers from Northamptonshire Police have been patrolling the county’s streets for more than 170 years.

Since its beginnings, when the Northamptonshire Constabulary was formed in 1840, officers have been fighting crime and running operations to keep the county’s towns and villages safe.

But it was on 1 April 1966 when the constabulary merged with Northampton Borough Police to form Northampton and County Constabulary, leading to the formation of Northamptonshire Police from 1 January 1975.

The Evening Telegraph has worked closely with the county’s police force over the years.

Our cameras have been there to capture all the biggest stories and developments during that time.

The introduction of road side speed tests and breathalysers have been landmark developments for the force in the fight against crime.

The most recent operation, Operation Guardian, was launched in September 2009, to crackdown on vehicle crime, burglary and robbery.

Assistant Chief Constable Martin Jelley, overall commander for Operation Guardian, said: “The operation has been a big success to date and has played a big part in safeguarding members of the public living in problem areas which have been blighted by criminality, drugs and anti-social behaviour.

“A concerted effort by all areas of the Force, from senior officers to those on the ground, specialist units to police staff on the doorstep, has helped drive serious acquisitive crime in Northamptonshire down by more than 22 per cent during the last year. That is equivalent to in excess of 2,000 fewer victims of robbery, burglary and vehicle crime in the county.

“The operation has entailed close joint working with our partners, including Trading Standards, Probation and the local authorities, to ensure that we all work together for the common good.

“But we could not have achieved this success without the increasing assistance from members of the public who recognise the good work that has been done by Operation Guardian and want to play their part.

“So a big thank you to them, and also to all the media and agencies who have helped promote our message and get our communities engaged in fighting crime in their area. We could not have achieved what we have done without you.”

The force currently receives more than one million phone calls every year. More than 120,000 of these are emergency 999 calls requesting immediate police attention.

Police officers and staff operate from the Police Headquarters and police stations based in Brackley, Corby, Daventry, Kettering, Oundle, Northampton, Rushden, Wellingborough, alongside some of the county’s major routes into the county.

It operates 17 Safer Community Teams and numerous specialist policing units to tackle crime across the county and support the policing of high profile annual events, such as the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, which attracts thousands of people to the county.

The Northamptonshire Police Authority has the role of setting the priorities for policing after consulting with the public and the Chief Constable, and monitoring its performance.

It consists of 17 members, including nine councillors, two justices of the peace, and six independent members.

Chair Deirdre Newham said: “Northamptonshire Police Authority is the eyes, ears and voice of the public in ensuring that the force delivers an efficient and effective service which meets the needs of the local community.”