By Adam Simmonds
It’s been a busy month to be Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire – so much so that I would have liked to have written this a few weeks ago, but have been busy working on a number of the exciting projects we currently have underway in the county.
We have a team going in to a number of schools across Northamptonshire to speak to children and young people about their experiences of intimate relationships as part of our consultation. Approximately 5000 12-18 year-olds are giving us their views and experiences of relationships in order to help us shape future support services given to young people in Northamptonshire.
It is really important that we build a better understanding of what young people are experiencing. As our Online Safety report showed, they are facing issues within intimate relationships at an increasingly young age and we need to be able to provide them with the support they need as a result. The findings will be published early next year, however in the meantime, you can read more about the consultation here.
Earlier this month, I met with the Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove, in London to discuss the future of the policing and criminal justice system and the role of Police and Crime Commissioners. It’s encouraging that the Government is keen to explore how more responsibility can be given to local communities, and I believe that greater powers at a local level can only enhance the service we are able to provide for residents here in Northamptonshire.
I also spoke at the Police Foundation’s Annual Conference, the topic of which was ‘Policing and Protecting Vulnerable People’. This brought together policymakers and practitioners to develop our understanding of how the police and their partners can best respond to the challenge of reducing harm and risk and maximising public protection.
This is an area that must be of the highest priority for policing. I spoke about the excellent multi-agency work we are undertaking here in the county and highlighted how the Police, local authorities, health services, schools and other agencies are all working closer together to protect children and vulnerable people. A review undertaken by the College of Policing earlier in the year on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) found that Northamptonshire Police has made a “significant commitment to tackling the challenge of CSE” and has a “passionate, committed and determined staff focused upon delivering an effective service to children and young people,” a view we are all very proud to have received.
This commitment will continue to be a top priority for the Police and Crime Commission and Northamptonshire Police. You can read more about our work on child sexual exploitation here.
A quick look at my diary suggests the next month up until Christmas is no less hectic but with plenty to do, it’s hardly a surprise! Myself and my team are working hard to ensure the people of Northamptonshire received the very best from their police and criminal justice system.
If you’d like to ask me more about the work we have going on here at the Commission, please do get in touch using the Ask Adam page on the website – I’d love to hear from you!