New figures released by the Home Office have revealed that Northamptonshire has seen the biggest rise in warranted police officers of any force in England and Wales since the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners in November 2012.
Statistics released by the government show that under the leadership of PCC Adam Simmonds, Northamptonshire is one of only three forces to increase or maintain both the number of full-time, frontline officers and Special Constables since 2012, and one of only five forces to increase the number of warranted officers in that time. Thirty-eight of 43 forces in England and Wales have seen a reduction in warranted officers during the same period.
With a 21% growth in warranted officers between September 2012 and September 2015, Northamptonshire’s increase in officer strength is significantly more than the next best performing force – Cambridgeshire – who totalled a 5% expansion over the same period, while all other increases were less than 1%.
On entering Office in November 2012, Mr Simmonds pledged to maintain the number of frontline police officers in Northamptonshire at 1,220 despite significant financial pressures on criminal justice services that have seen 33 of 43 forces in England and Wales reduce their number of full-time officers.
Mr Simmonds also promised to revolutionise the role of volunteers in policing in the county by aiming to reach a total of 900 Special Constables by the time he leaves Office in May, a policy that has resulted in a 106% growth of Northamptonshire’s Special Constabulary from 281 to 581 up to September 2015, 44% higher than any other region.
Adam Simmonds, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
“In a tough financial climate I have always been adamant of the need to keep police officers on our streets to ensure Northamptonshire is safe and I am delighted that throughout my term as Police and Crime Commissioner we have not only kept the number of full-time, frontline officers at 1,220, but we have also added 318 warranted officers.
“These figures help to show how committed we are to making Northamptonshire the Safest Place in England, and I would like to thank our brave police men and women who work tirelessly and put themselves in the firing line to keep our communities safe.
“The model of policing is changing and citizens helping police their own communities will be a huge part of future public safety services. With our investment in the Special Constabulary, Northamptonshire is truly pioneering a new, more effective and efficient way of policing that is becoming the envy of regions in England and Wales, and I’m proud to have helped facilitate this.”