Chief Constable Nick Adderley has announced crime types the Force will be focusing its greatest attention on over the next three years.
In a break from the past, the Chief has revealed Northamptonshire Police’s “Matters of Priority” between now and 2025.
Previously, priorities have changed on an annual basis, but the new approach will allow the Force to develop longer term strategies to tackle the most serious criminality and make the county an even more hostile place for offenders.
Supported by a high-profile countywide campaign launched today, the priority areas being targeted were identified in part based on the actual threat and risk they pose for communities across Northamptonshire, but also on intelligence gathered and, crucially, because the public have indicated this is where they want police to apply the most pressure.
As well as defining clear targets for reducing offending, driving up convictions and increasing victim satisfaction, a range of strategies will be adopted to improve performance further. These include improved intelligence gathering, further training for officers, building more effective partnership-working and greater use of technology and innovation, including demographic mapping allowing police to target and engage communities at particular risk.
Our “Matters of Priority” are:
Drugs continue to be a catalyst for neighbourhood crime such as burglary, vehicle theft, street robbery and wider organised criminality. The Force will continue its relentless focus on tackling and dismantling County Lines drugs gangs which plague this county. It will also address - through proactive activity and early intervention and prevention – anti-social behaviour, especially involving young people at risk of escalating from so-called urban street gangs to more organised crime groups.
SERIOUS AND ORGANISED CRIME
Organised criminality remains a focus for the Force which will step up its efforts to combat the many forms of serious and organised crime. This will include operational activity to tackle the emerging threat posed by cyber-crime and fraud, breaking up labour and sexual exploitation in networks linked to modern slavery and human trafficking, foreign national criminality, and firearms
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS
Focus on this area has intensified in the past 12 months and there will be no let-up over the next three years. Clear progress has been made in the past year in dealing with domestic abuse with the Force reporting a fall in the number of repeat victims and a rise in successful outcomes for perpetrators. Additionally, a dedicated rape team will continue its work to hunt down those responsible for the most serious sexual offences. Stalking and harassment will also be subject to increased focus, ensuring victims are protected from harm. And, in the wake of the Sarah Everard murder, the Chief has vowed that the focus of attention on any inappropriate conduct by police officers will be greater than ever.
Alongside murder, the most serious of crimes, serious violence includes knife crime where Northamptonshire Police has made significant inroads in the past year. A countywide campaign has helped to reduce the number of repeat offenders, huge hauls of bladed weapons have been recovered and frontline officers have led a wide range of proactive operations – such as Op Revive in Wellingborough – which have helped to push home the zero-tolerance approach to those arming themselves with knives. And police officers will continue to pursue those in possession of firearms and offenders responsible for robbery.
The new campaign will be across social media and through a wide range of other channels and there is a dedicated page on the website -www.northants.police.uk/priorities – where we will post our performance data against these crime types over the next three years.
Our Matters of Priority have been set to chime with both national considerations, including the Government’s own Beating Crime Plan, the UK-wide focus on violence against women and girls and, importantly, the areas for improvement identified in inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) published last autumn.
It also sits alongside the existing Police, Fire and Crime Plan where Police. Fire and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Mold, identified a number of areas to ensure our communities are protected, including reduce repeat victimisation, prevention of fraud and cyber-crime and street level drug dealing.
Cutting across all four areas is vulnerability - understanding the impact these crime types have on the most vulnerable, something which the Force has taken significant steps in the past two years to raise awareness among officers – and data quality, another area where the Force has made huge strides to improve the information the Force manages, including intelligence.
Mr Adderley said: “The shift to a three-year focus on these most serious crimes, those which post the most threat and harm to the people of Northamptonshire, will give us an even firmer grip on how we will continue to fight crime, protect people, bring offenders to justice, and keep the most vulnerable safe.
“Our Matters of Priority and the crime types which sit within them, will be the focus of relentless activity between now and 2025. The public have told us that these are the areas they want action, and we will honour that call by doing so and doing so relentlessly.
“Only a couple of weeks ago I reported on the very significant progress we made against the four areas identified in 2021-22– knife crime, domestic abuse, serious organised crime and anti-social behaviour – and the success we have achieved are vital in terms of building trust and confidence in Northamptonshire Police
“This time the net has widened, and our focus intensified for even longer on those who seek to cause misery to law-abiding people right across this county. We will be unwavering in our pursuit of these offenders over the next three years, and I know with the help of the communities we serve, we will succeed.”