The county’s newly elected police and crime commissioner has said he is excited to be starting but admitted he was anxious to get things right.
Adam Simmonds, who was elected police and crime commissioner last week and replaced the police authority at midnight on Thursday, November 22, has promised to prioritise tackling violent crime, drugs and anti-social behaviour in his quest to make Northamptonshire the “safest place in England”.
The Conservative triumphed over Labour’s Lee Barron – who was forced to suspend his campaign when a previous conviction came to light – in the two-person run-off.
And Mr Simmonds, who at 35 years old is the youngest PCC out of all the 41 forces which held elections last week, said people would start to see his positive impact on the police within a matter months as he got to grips with the wide-ranging role.
“It’s almost like being elected a minister,” he said. “I’ve got a department as well as people writing to me with their problems, and I will also be doing surgeries.
“The budget which I publish in February will be a statement of intent. People will start to see my concrete impact very clearly in 12 to 18 months – increased policing, reductions in anti-social behaviour, people will start to feel safer.I will also be launching a victims’ commission within the next three months.”
Turnout at the PCC elections was dismal across the country at less than 20 per cent, and Mr Simmonds said he realised he still had to work to win some doubters over.
“It is up to me to prove to people that the PCC for Northants isn’t a waste of time,” he said.
“You have often got to start in a messy way to make something work.”
He added: “I have got more legitimacy than the police authority ever had before. I had 41,000 people vote for me.”
But Mr Simmonds also said he was under no illusions as to the amount of work ahead.
He added: “I am worried about the level of some of the crime we have got to tackle, and whether we are equipped to deal with it.”
But he also said he hoped to take on board ideas advocated by some of his opponents in the election.