It only takes one team to tackle violence and harassment against women and girls

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold has teamed up with Northampton Town Football Club to start a conversation with men and ask for their help in tackling harassment against women.

A campaign was launched by the Commissioner and partners earlier in the year as part of a wide-ranging programme of work to tackle violence against women and girls, funded by the Government’s Safer Streets initiative.

Now the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Northampton Town Football Club are working together to raise the profile of this issue and engage the club’s supporters in the discussion about the safety of women.

Cobblers players Sam Hoskins, Lee Burge, Ben Fox, Harvey Lintott and Josh Eppiah are joining the Commissioner in saying ‘enough is enough’ to the harassment of women.

They are asking men to call out their friends if they see behaviour that is disrespectful to women and encouraging people not to be bystanders.

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “Harassment is an everyday experience for some women. Not all men are part of the problem, but all men can be part of the solution.

“We all have a role in challenging men who behave inappropriately towards women and to offer support when women feel threatened and unsafe.

“A culture where harassment goes unchecked eventually leads to violence and harassment. Challenging sexist behaviour and words is a necessary step towards changing that culture.”

Cobblers player Sam Hoskins said: “Football is a game that should be enjoyed by everyone. No-one should feel uncomfortable when they come to watch a game or worry about some of the things they might hear being said.

“As players we’re happy to support the ‘It Only Takes One’ campaign. We’d urge Cobblers fans not to look the other way if they see or hear something, because if we all do something about it then we can make a difference.”

Report it on the app

A new, free smartphone app – Flare Report – has been launched to help women and girls feel and be safer on the streets of Northamptonshire.

Flare Report allows women to report, anonymously and quickly, any incidents or behaviour that make them feel unsafe when they are out and about.  Police will collate and analyse the reports made, so that problem areas can be identified, and action taken.

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold has brought the app to the county. Stephen hopes that reports made on Flare will help to build a clearer picture of where incidents are happening and give women the confidence to report things that might otherwise go unreported.

“We know anecdotally that many women and girls simply would not report incidents like catcalling, street harassment or even unwanted touching to Police, either because they are embarrassed, or they don’t think it will be taken seriously. I also know that this is a daily experience for many women. We can’t live in a community where women accept that harassment is just something that happens to everyone, we must call it out. Flare Report is the mechanism for doing that,” Stephen Mold said.

Flare Report is not for reporting crimes in progress, but Police will check reports every day to make sure that nothing that needs an urgent response has been submitted.

The information submitted on the app will enable Police to identify places or venues where inappropriate behaviour is making women feel unsafe.  That information will be used by Police and other partners such as the local authorities to take action to reduce the risk to women and tackle perpetrators and problems.

Flare is free to download and can be installed on any mobile device from the app store or google play.

More volunteers join custody visiting scheme

More volunteers have joined a group that helps Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold to ensure the rights, welfare and dignity of people held in police custody are being maintained.

Man and woman custody visitors at cell door talking to detainee

The 13 newcomers have joined the Northamptonshire Independent Custody Visiting Scheme, which enables the Commissioner to hold the Chief Constable to account on behalf of the public.

Stephen Mold has a statutory duty to allow volunteers from the local community to observe, comment and report on the welfare of detainees and the conditions they are being held in. The ICV scheme offers mutual protection to detainees and the police, and reassurance to the community.

The Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) visit people held in the two custody suites in Northamptonshire – the Criminal Justice Centre and the Weekley Woods Justice Centre custody. ICVs always visit in pairs, and they visit each Custody Centre at least once a week.

There are currently 26 ICV volunteers in the Northamptonshire scheme. In the last 12 months (Nov 2021 – Nov 2022), 85 independent custody visits took place. ICVs saw 286 detainees.

PFCC Stephen Mold said: “The ongoing commitment of the volunteer Independent Custody Visitors to capture the voice of detainees is admirable, and I would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication.”

Chief Constable hails annual drop in crime

Northamptonshire Police is the only Force in England and Wales to have reported an actual fall in overall crime in the year to June 2022, new figures reveal.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows overall crime nationally rose by an average of 12.9 per cent across police forces, but in Northamptonshire it fell by 0.6 per cent.

The figures also reveal that:

  • Anti-social behaviour fell by 8.2 per cent, down by more than 9,500 incidents
  • Knife crime fell by almost more than 16 per cent while in Wellingborough – where Op Revive, a targeted campaign to tackle those carrying knives – it fell by nearly 30 per cent.
  • Arrest rates for domestic abuse have risen steadily year on year to 35.2 per cent, a significant improvement on the previous 12 months
  • And a clear proactive strategy to tackle Serious Organised Crime has led to more firearms being seized, large number of drug factories being closed, and 16 County Lines drugs groups being broken up

All these crime types were identified as the Chief’s Matters of Priority in 2021-22.

Chief Constable Nick Adderley said: “I’m really pleased to say that Northamptonshire Police is fast being recognised as one of the most progressive Forces in the country. These figures come against a backdrop that we are of one of five forces rated as good in terms of our crime data recording so people can be confident this ONS data is wholly accurate.

“I made it clear when I took over that I wanted Northamptonshire Police to be a proactive Force that goes out and deals with these issues when they happen and that’s exactly what we are now doing.”

Mr Adderley was also able to report continued success in the fight against burglary across Northamptonshire with an 11.6 per cent fall in residential break-ins and a 14.1 per cent drop in commercial burglaries.

Life-saving bleed packs on frontline fire appliances 

Fire crews first on the scene at a major incident now have access to equipment to immediately treat haemorrhages or life-saving traumatic injuries before medical assistance arrives.

Haemorrhage control packs have been distributed across all frontline Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service appliances, including the Service’s initial intervention vehicles.  These packs complement and enhance the emergency first aid kits already in use by the Service.

The Haemorrhage control packs include trauma dressings, tourniquets, special bandages, and other equipment that can help prevent the deterioration of a casualty within the critical first few minutes after help arrives.

All frontline staff are being trained in how to use the kits.

Station Commander Nick Gayton has overseen the project to roll out the packs across Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.  He said:  “We need to be ready to respond to any emergency, including incidents that could result in multiple traumatic injuries or the need for rapid critical care.

“These packs will allow firefighters, when they are first at the scene, to treat and prevent deterioration of casualties quickly and effectively,
before professional medial health teams arrive.”

Guardians help hundreds have safe night out

Northampton volunteers who have put in more than 5,000 hours to support people who need help while on a night out in the town have been formally thanked for their amazing dedication by Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.

And the group – the Northampton Guardians – have supported hundreds of revellers using the night-time economy in Northampton since December 2021.

Over the last 12 months they have been based in the Safer Nights Out Van (SNO Van), which was purchased by Northamptonshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and which gives the Guardians a focal point and a haven from where they can support people who need their help.

Stephen said:  “I cannot thank the Guardians enough for what they do. The whole town owe them an enormous debt not just for the support they give to the people they help directly, but for the calm and comfortable atmosphere they create just by being there.  I am full of admiration for everything they do, I know the scheme is widely admired and letting them know how much they are appreciated was the very least I can do.”

Gill Goodship, lead volunteer for the Guardians, said: “Visibility in the town centre is definitely making people feel safer and the vast majority are grateful for us being present. We locate the SNO Van prominently in Northampton and patrol the busiest streets offering assistance to anyone who needs support or a place of safety.”