Approximately a third of Northamptonshire’s population live in rural areas – way above the national average of 17%.
In order to further understand the problems and issues faced by people living in rural areas, former Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds visited 100 parishes in the summer of 2015, where he spoke with residents to gain insight in to how the Police and Crime Commission can help their communities, resulting in several new initiatives as part of our Safer Roads work.
Rural Action is our commitment to promoting safety and well-being in rural communities. Our Rural Action strategy document – available to view at www.northamptonshireruralaction.co.uk – showcases Northamptonshire Police’s commitment to protecting people living in rural communities from harm through new and innovative ways of working.
As part of Rural Action’s Safer Roads strand, Northamptonshire Police are clamping down on weight limits, bad parking and speeding offences, work which has led to 50 fewer deaths or serious injuries on our roads each year.
Rural Intervention Vehicles
Northamptonshire’s Rural Intervention Vehicles (RIV) have seen the county’s police and fire services team-up to provide support to rural communities.
Each vehicle is operated by a police officer and fire officer, capable of responding to a wide range of calls. The teams are also trained in first aid, allowing them to help with medical emergencies also.
RIV teams aim to tackle crime and improve community safety. This includes working with communities to deal with ongoing local issues, gathering intelligence to identify potential crime and fire risks and dealing with incidents such as minor fires and road traffic collisions.
Officers also carry out high-visibility patrols in crime hotspot areas, give fire and personal safety talks to schools and community groups and visit farms and local businesses to discuss concerns and offer crime and fire prevention advice.
Communities policing communities
Street Watch is a police initiative involving local residents working together to actively patrol their area to provide a visible presence. Members patrol their community in high-visibility, police-logoed clothing in pairs or more, for periods of time which suit them.
Mounted volunteers on horseback is a similar scheme aimed at providing a highly visible police presence, particularly within rural communities. The strategy allows members to gather intelligence that may otherwise not be accessible to Street Watch members and their visible presence helps to deter dangerous driving behaviours and promote a safer driving culture.
We are also in the process of recruiting Special Constables to patrol their own parish. For more information, visit: www.northantspolicespecials.co.uk