Public safety is at risk because of stop on Northamptonshire County Council spending, says police commissioner:

Budget plans rely heavily on the fact that later this year Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service was due to be brought under police control
Budget plans rely heavily on the fact that later this year Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service was due to be brought under police control

Police officers may have to deal with more missing persons cases and anti-social behaviour while County Hall spending is on hold, Stephen Mold says.

The Section 114 notice that a chief financial officer issued at the weekend means all spending except on keeping children and vulnerable adults safe is on hold. Replacing staff who leave will not automatically be sanctioned.

But the elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, Stephen Mold, believes it could lead to mental health work normally handled by the county council's social care team, for example, being passed directly to police. Officers may see more missing persons enquiries and anti-social behaviour because usual interventions are on pause.

Mr Mold said he also fears that the Section 114 notice could jeopardise major plans to take over the fire service and protect its funding - and could therefore impact on firefighters' capacity to keep the people safe. Attempts to shift money from the fire service to other council funds are possible and Mr mold wants to make sure that does not happen.

Mr Mold said said: "In the interests of public safety I am closely monitoring the situation at Northamptonshire County Council to ensure that any potential impacts on policing in the county are dealt with pro-actively.

"The full impact of the Section 114 notice that has been issued by the County Council is not yet clear, however in light of its issue, I would urge the Home Office to make a swift decision on the business case I submitted last year proposing the transfer of the governance of the Fire and Rescue service to my Office.

"My number one priority is the safety of the people of Northamptonshire, and ensuring that the fire service is able to operate effectively, within a clearly defined budget, is imperative.

"To delay this decision any further would risk the safety of residents of the county and I hope that given the extraordinary circumstances, the Home Office will approve this transfer as soon as is humanly possible.”