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4 April 2019, 14:21 | Updated: 4 April 2019, 14:23
More than 200 new officers will be recruited by Northamptonshire Police over the next two years, taking the Force to more than 1300 police officers for the first time since 2010.
It'll mean a net gain of nearly 100 officers, when taking into account those who retire or leave each year.
The recruitment drive will see Force numbers rise from 1227 police officers to 1310 – the greatest number of officers the Force has had since 2010.
The recruitment drive will be funded in part through the council tax precept increase of £24 a year for a band D household that was levied this year.
This increase has given the Force a total budget in 2019/20 of almost £130m, which is £11m more than last year and the largest budget the Force has had for more than 20 years.
Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold asked for £3m to be set aside and invested to improve policing in ways that people said are important to them – neighbourhood policing; rural crime; burglary; anti-social behaviour and low-level drug dealing.
From now on, everyone whose home is burgled will be visited by Police, which will improve the service that people receive and support the investigation of crime.
The extra resources will also enable the Chief Constable to strengthen neighbourhood policing with its focus on local problem solving, to engage with local communities and partner agencies and provide visibility and reassurance. PCSO and police staff numbers have also been protected.
The plans announced by PFCC Stephen Mold and Chief Constable Nick Adderley are part of a wider vision for the future of Northamptonshire Police that will improve the effectiveness of the Force and provide a better response to key issues.
The investigation of crime will be strengthened, with the recruitment of experienced investigators back into the Force to mentor new and less experienced officers, improving their skills until the Force has the right number of trained investigators.
Further developments are planned over the coming year that will strengthen Northamptonshire Police, improve performance and the ability to fight crime and keep people safe.
PFCC Stephen Mold said:
“I’m pleased and proud to be able to announce this significant boost in the number of police officers in Northamptonshire. When I asked people if they would be prepared to pay more to fund improvements in policing, they were very clear on the issues that were important to them, particularly the visibility and accessibility of officers in their community.
The vision that the Chief Constable and I have set out today puts the Force on a journey of improvement, not just in increased numbers of police officers but with a better focus and a better service. This increase in resources helps the Chief Constable to put his plans into action and that, coupled with technological improvements, will support officers who work hard in communities to tackle crime and keep people safe.”
Chief Constable Nick Adderley said:
“The extra funding provided to me by the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner will be used to address those issues which both I and the public feel are very relevant and pertinent to the quality of life for those who live, visit and work in Northamptonshire.
Every penny of the additional funding will be spent improving frontline services to allow greater visibility and accessibility to your policing service.
I am putting officers back into your communities to regain that trust, commitment and confidence in who we are and what we do.
The ambitious recruitment campaign will see more officers on the streets of Northamptonshire than for many years and will allow community relationships to flourish as well as help prevent issues before they happen.
A more robust policing approach will be adopted to ensure that our county becomes a hostile environment for criminals and where crime does occur, that the Force is able to respond effectively and carry out a professional and thorough investigation.”
Recruitment of the new officers has begun and anyone interested in applying to join Northamptonshire Police should visit www.northants.police.uk/careers
Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said:
“This is a significant moment for Northamptonshire Police and this leap forward could not have been achieved without the increase in the council tax precept. I am grateful to local people for their support but I am not happy that Government funding has not kept pace with the growth in demand in this county.
I believe we need a fairer funding settlement nationally and I will continue to press for a funding formula that treats Forces fairly.”