Adam Simmonds, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, has today set-out plans to continue to protect the number of frontline police officers in Northamptonshire while increasing the services available to help victims of crime recover and thrive.
Announcing the final budget of his term before leaving Office in May, Mr Simmonds has revealed he will ask Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Panel to approve an 8pence-per-week rise in the policing council tax precept in order to continue to keep 1,220 frontline officers on the streets of Northamptonshire and to further support victims of crime.
The proposed rise would make an extra £910,000 available for operations over the next year, which would go directly towards helping protect and support victims and witnesses.
The 2016-17 budget – available to view here – also includes plans to maintain the Special Constabulary at 900 – a figure it is expected to reach by May following Mr Simmonds work to more than triple the size of the volunteer force since he entered office.
Northamptonshire has seen a reduction of £386,000 in central government funding over the 2015-16 financial year following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2015, however Mr Simmonds is confident the county can prosper through financial savings incurred as a result of innovative working models such as the creation of a strategic alliance the Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire forces.
Adam Simmonds, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
“I am as passionate now about making Northamptonshire the safest place in England and creating the safest generation as I have ever been. This is why I am proposing this budget, a budget that once again protects the number of frontline officers in Northamptonshire and pledges more resources than ever to protecting children and supporting victims of crime.
“I have listened to the people of Northamptonshire and police numbers are extremely important to people in the county. With this budget we will continue to be one of only a handful of forces that have protected frontline officer numbers when spending has had to be cut, while we will continue to support over 2,000 warranted officers with the growth of the Special Constabulary.
“There is still an urgent need to protect children across the county, who are facing perhaps more threats to their safety than ever before; through online activity, social media, mobile phones and gaming. This budget seeks to increase the protection of our most vulnerable, as well as increase the support of victims and witness of crime, who have been forced to enter the criminal justice system through no fault of their own and who need our help to thrive following these experiences.
“However, policing still needs to change. I want to support the creation of the brightest and best police force in the country, and this requires a radical transformation programme. This includes new technologies, rethinking the police estate and ways of working, and becoming more pro-active in preventing crime by working locally with communities.
“The Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables of Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire police forces will be considering the final business case for our strategic alliance in March. If this goes ahead, the strategic alliance will deliver significant savings to the three Forces from 2019-20.
“This budget reflects serious investment in positive change for our local police force that will be felt by the people of Northamptonshire as we continue to work towards making the county the safest place in England and delivering the safest generation.”