PCC looks back on four-year tenure on what would have been election day

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire says having an extra year in charge will allow him to demonstrate the police force’s progress.

By James Averill
Thursday, 7th May 2020, 7:38 pm
Stephen Mold has been the Police and Crime Commissioner for four years now.
Stephen Mold has been the Police and Crime Commissioner for four years now.

Stephen Mold won the 2016 PCC elections standing as the Conservative candidate, but today (May 7) marks the day that Mr Mold would have been standing for re-election. But the election, along with local council vote, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

Mr Mold conceded that the opportunity to hear directly from voters is also valuable feedback that he will miss, as he heads into an additional year beyond the mandate to which he was elected.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mr Mold said: “The extra year is both a benefit and a disadvantage. The benefit is that some really good stuff is going to come to fruition in the coming year and it also gives me the opportunity to demonstrate to the public that some of the things I’ve been saying to the public have come true.

“But elections are an opportunity to go and have conversations and talk specifically about achievements and also those that people are not happy with, it’s an important part of the process and the conversation. I never forget that I have three-quarters of a million people who are all my boss and won’t be able to agree on what my priorities are, so it’s always good to have that conversation.

“It’s an absolute honour to have this job. The burden is a heavy one trying to keep all those people safe. I would love the opportunity to run again. Like all, I just want to get safely through to the end of coronavirus. It’s my intention to run though and actually I have got a lot of work still to do. I made a commitment when I was elected that should the public want me and my party still want me I would do at least two terms because I have got a lot of stuff started off that would be an unfinished job.”

The marking of what would have been election day has also allowed the PCC to evaluate his four-year tenure.

The latest PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) report available for Northamptonshire Police found that it required improvement in reducing crime and keeping people safe; and that the extent to which the force operates efficiently and sustainably is inadequate.

This report, however, was based on findings from 2018/19. Mr Mold has repeatedly said since then that under the new leadership of Chief Constable Nick Adderley, the way the force works has changed and that he has ‘never been more confident’ in the leadership of the force.

And he also pointed towards the growing number of officers being recruited by the force as one of the big highlights.

He said: “As you come up to an election you stand back and reflect, and it’s easy to forget now but when I arrived the offices’ standing left something to be desired. It was in the middle of selling the force headquarters with no place to go, there was quite a conflict between this office from a governance point of view and a teamwork with the chief officer team. I contrast that now with a force that is certainly on the up with people working hard and being innovative with technology.

“We have 150 more police officers than when I started and we have plans to add the best part of another 200 in the coming years. There are things I wish we had done a little quicker like some of the technological innovations.

“But I started this job with a very clear mission to make Northamptonshire safer and it’s most definitely safer than when I took office. Is it as safe as I would want it to be? No, there’s still much work to be done. But I’ve seen some good progress in that area.”