ID scan technology rolled out across Northamptonshire

Thirty late night venues across Northamptonshire have been equipped with state-of-the-art security technology – creating a virtual network to help tackle crime and disorder and keep people safe on a night out.

Bars and clubs in Northampton, Wellingborough, Kettering, and Daventry that open after 1am all now have the latest ID scanning equipment to help them manage
who comes into their venue.

The project has cost around £119,000 and has been developed by Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold, using around £94,000 from the Home Office Safer Streets funding.

This is the first time that a network of premises is being equipped to the same standard and enabled to work together across Northamptonshire, and it is thought to be the largest roll out of ID scan technology in the night-time economy in England.

Licensing Constable Sandy Tracey, of Northamptonshire Police, added: “If there are any issues we can relate back to the scanner and identify people involved if anything goes wrong.

“The communication is key between the kits because if one person causes a problem in one venue, then it can let other venues know, and then the person will end up being banned from all the premises in the county.”

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “I’m pleased that we have been able to help build a stronger partnership with and between licensed premises and support them in their work to make their premises safer.

“Being able to identify people who have caused trouble elsewhere gives venues much more control and gives troublemakers nowhere to turn. It also provides a useful tool for police should they have to investigate any incident that does occur.”

Danny Kituno, who runs Escape in Northampton town centre, added: “The introduction of these scanners has been a game changer.

“We can now actually see what is happening, who these people are who have been causing trouble, and we are now able to share that information with other venues.

“We are really grateful to the Commissioner, and we hope the result of this is that we see our community and our venues safe, and people come out confident that they can have a safe night out and to go back to their loved ones.”

Parking buddies helping to prevent inconsiderate parking in Rushden

Parking buddies are making it safer for children at Rushden Primary Academy to get to and from school thanks to a £5,000 grant from a scheme run by Northamptonshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC).

Rushden Primary Academy applied for funding from the PFCC’s Road Safety Fund to improve the safety of their pupils after various minor incidents and near misses outside the school, particularly at drop off and pick up time.

The parking buddies are child shaped pavement signs, designed to encourage parents, guardians, and other motorists in the area to think and be considerate when driving and parking outside the school gates and in the surrounding roads.

Headteacher, Miss Lindsay Edwards is pleased with the positive impact the scheme is having in the immediate vicinity of the school but knows there is more to be done to raise awareness of the issues. Miss Edwards said: “The funding we have received has enhanced the area outside of school greatly. We have been able to create a crossing for the children using the parking buddies, meaning that we have a clear space without parked cars where the children can cross safely.

“In addition, we were able to buy and erect safety banners and other signage around the school.

“We still have lots to do around education and petitioning the council for road markings, but the fund has already improved safety for the children.”

The school also ran a competition to design a road safety poster and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Mold joined a school assembly to present the winners with certificates for the best posters. The messages from the winning posters will be used on more banners and signage outside the school.

Applications for funding are welcomed from any school, charity, or non-profit organisation from across the county. There are three grant schemes available – The Road Safety Fund, Small Grants Scheme and Making Northamptonshire Safe Fund.

More information and detail on how to apply can be found on the OPFCC Website.

Two Commissioner schemes receive national awards for their work

Two schemes run by the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner have been recognised nationally for their high quality and effectiveness.

The Independent Custody Visitor scheme trains volunteers from the local community to make regular unannounced visits to police custody suites to check on the rights, entitlements, wellbeing, and dignity of the detainees held there.

The Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) – the national membership organisation that represents these schemes – has developed a quality assurance framework to assess how well schemes comply with the code of practice that governs custody visiting.

They presented Northamptonshire with a silver quality assurance award on November 29 at a ceremony in Birmingham, attended by Alexa Daly, who manages the scheme in the OPFCC and collected the award.

Further award success was reserved for the Cyber Security Forum, which was set up by Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold to allow cyber security leads from businesses around the county to meet, share best practice and learn from each other about digital threats and how to respond to them.

The Forum is a network of about 150 people and organisations, with about 20 each month attending formal, monthly meetings. The Forum is open to small and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 250 employees.

The Forum recently won an award at The Real Cyber Awards 2023, in the Cyber Public Service category. The award was picked up by Heather Francis, Digital & Technology Delivery Manager, and Director of Delivery Paul Fell.

Businesses interested in joining the Cyber Security Forum can find more information at

Share your views on police and fire precept

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold has launched a survey to understand what people would pay towards their local police and fire and rescue services through the council tax precept next year.

Stephen is responsible for setting the police and fire precepts, which together make up about 18% of the council tax you pay in Northamptonshire – the rest goes to your local authorities.

Over the l ast few years, both Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service have benefited from significant investments that have brought stability and strengthened the way both services look after the public.

Now the Police, Fire and Crime commissioner is asking for people’s views on the contribution they would make next year.

Stephen Mold said: “To sustain services at their current level, we need to ask for £5 for fire and £15 more for policing for an average, Band D household. The Government may set a referendum limit for a lower amount than that, and we won’t know for sure until the budget settlements are announced.

“I want to know how people feel about their local services and what they pay for them, so that we can make our plans for the coming year.”

Research to ask for your views on policing and safety

Research has been commissioned to better understand how people who live in the county feel about their local police service, whether they feel that Northamptonshire Police meets their needs and expectations and their level of confidence in policing.

The Force now has more police officers than it has ever had – over 1500. Having extra police officers has allowed the Force to commit extra resources to key areas of policing, including neighbourhood teams, along with road policing and rural crime.

The Police Fire and Crime Commissioner wants policing to be an integral part of local communities and to understand if the investments that have been made have had a positive impact on public confidence and trust in their local police. He also wants to know if feelings of confidence and safety vary from community to community across the county.

A series of focus groups is being held by professional researchers, in rural and urban centres right across the county.

The findings will be considered along with other information, such as the results of the local priorities survey that neighbourhood policing teams carry out, and this then be available to inform the Police, Fire and Crime Plan of the incoming Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner after the election in May 2024.

If you would like your views to be fed into the research, you can take part in the Locally Identified Priorities Survey

Framework supports local businesses and gets the job done

A procurement framework has been set up to make it easier for businesses to supply services to Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The estates and facilities framework creates a level playing field and shortens the process, which makes it easier for small, local businesses to bid for work. The framework also makes it much easier for Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue to find a pre-approved supplier to carry out work.

Open procurement processes are transparent but can take time for both suppliers and organisations – that can be a problem when critical work to buildings and facilities needs to be done urgently.

Twenty-eight companies specialising in electrical, heating, air conditioning, plumbing and other disciplines, work mainly from the local region of Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire are on the framework. Each of the businesses on the framework has been vetted, quality checked and signed up to work to agreed standards.

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said that the framework means that it should now be quicker to have repairs and maintenance done in police and fire buildings.

“Most of our buildings are in use 24/7 and we need to make sure they are kept running. We now have a framework full of businesses, all checked and ready to
go when we need them.”

“This represents great value for money for everyone involved and it’s good to be able to help smaller, local companies grow and create employment, by making it easier for them to do business with us.”

The framework is open to local authorities and other public sector organisations in the East Midlands.

Chris Griffin from CG Electrical, said: “This framework is a brilliant opportunity for a small and local business like us in Northampton. We are really looking forward to being a part of it.”

Retail roundtable tackles business crime together

A procurement framework has been set up to make it easier for businesses to supply services to Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The roundtable was organised jointly by the Office of Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold, and West Northamptonshire Council, to give retailers the opportunity to share their experiences of retail crime.

The meeting involved representatives of major retail chains, shopping centres and independent stores, Northamptonshire Business Crime Partnership, and Northamptonshire Police.

The roundtable members heard about the challenges, and exchanged ideas to work towards solutions, including Op Elegance, a countywide policing operation that is targeting prolific and violent retail crime offenders.

The roundtable event ended with a commitment from everyone that they would continue to talk together and ensure that the views of businesses and partners are fed into the work to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. They agreed to meet again within the next six months.

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “The voice of the businesses matters if we are going to be able to improve how we work, and I am sure that we have all benefitted from hearing some new ideas today.”

Business owner Julie Tekman, of Vintage Guru in Northampton, said: “This was a very useful bringing together of the Commissioner, the Council, and the Police with small and large retailers, which enabled us to discuss and look at the issues that we are all facing.

“This has helped us all to understand what is going on behind the scenes to improve the problems we face, and I am very optimistic and positive that people are listening to us.”