Businesses helping to change lives

Businesses in Northamptonshire are helping to change lives by offering opportunities to young people who are on the cusp of gang involvement.

Ten businesses that are part of the MY:BK:YD project – or My Back Yard – were formally thanked and given an award by Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold and Northamptonshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Ash Tuckley.

The businesses are signed up to work with the Force’s CIRV team, which is focussed on working with young people to reduce drug-related violence and exploitation. The support they give includes activity to divert young people away from trouble; training that leads to a brighter future or simply providing a safe place to meet with the CIRV team.

90-ONE Education has delivered bike training to young people and helped them to gain qualifications.

Trevor Lord, director and founder of 90-ONE Education said: “We offer a course that lasts about a school term, leading up to a compulsory basic training qualification so that they can legally ride on the road. It’s genuinely brilliant seeing the young people develop and by their own admission, changing their attitudes and their lifestyle in a positive way.”

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold praised the businesses.

He said: “Early intervention is a key priority in my Police, Fire and Crime Plan, and this is bigger than policing alone. The impact that this scheme has had on vulnerable young people, by helping to offer them new opportunities has been invaluable.”

The ten businesses involved in MY:BK:YD are:

90-ONE Education has delivered bike training and has allowed young people to gain recognised qualifications.

Elite Survival Training is focusing on teamwork and learning skills that have helped with Armed Forces job applications.

Northampton Saints Foundation uses its Hitz programme to engage with pupils at risk of expulsion from school by building confidence, and offering the chance to gain sporting qualifications.

The Frank Bruno Foundation hosts courses for young people with training to stimulate change and support mental health.

The Army Careers Centre in Northampton has designed a bespoke army recruitment campaign for CIRV cohort members, with several going on to become junior entry soldiers.

The BST MMA Academy offers free gym classes, work placement and job opportunities.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) offers advice and guidance to young people towards a career in construction.

Goodwill Solutions CIC offers courses to make positive life changes, and involvement in projects such as a bike recycling scheme.

McDonald’s offers up 10 of its local restaurants in Northamptonshire as meeting points for CIRV and young people, who are also offered a free meal.

Prestige Homeseeker Park and Leisure Homes has helped with the delivery of food parcels to vulnerable people.

Specialist team at work with young people

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) employs a specialist team to supply more support to families and vulnerable young people who are at increased risk of becoming victims of crime or are likely to get involved in criminal behaviour.

The Early Intervention and Adverse Childhood Experience Team runs projects that focus on targeting people who have been involved in domestic incidents or who are at risk of exclusion from school.

This critical work feeds directly into the Commissioner’s priorities outlined in his Police, Fire and Crime Plan to divert young people away from crime and safeguard them from criminal exploitation.

Kirsty Day and Lisa Curtis from the specialist team

Students from schools in Northampton, Wellingborough and Thrapston have recently received help from specialist initiatives delivered by the Team.

Tailored assemblies were delivered to The Progress Schools in Thrapston and Northampton and highlighted the dangers of knife and other violent crime, the consequences of getting involved in criminal activity and the impact crime can have on individuals, families and communities.

Early intervention and Ace Officers, along with Police Officers aligned to the Youth Offending Service, held drop-in sessions for students at schools in Northampton and Wellingborough. Weekly two-hour sessions over a 12-week period gave students identified as having emerging or concerning needs, the opportunity to seek informal guidance and advice.

Augusta Ryan, Senior Early Intervention and Adverse Childhood Experience Officer said: “We saw students talk freely about their concerns and engage in frank conversations about risky behaviours and the consequences of anti-social behaviour and knife crime.”

Two young people who attended the drop-in sessions were also invited to sit on the Northamptonshire Police Use of Power Scrutiny Panel in January. The Panel views video of police stop and search incidents to assess whether the actions taken by the police officers were proper, whether procedures were explained fully, and whether a situation could have been managed differently.

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Mold said: “Early intervention and engagement are key to understanding why young people get involved in crime and to prevent problems before they escalate.”

Brothers pass test with flying colours thanks to Commissioner-funded scheme 

Two brothers have passed their Advanced Driving Tests on the same day – thanks to scheme which is funded by a grant from the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

Stephen Mold supports the Young Driver Scheme with a grant.  Drivers under 26 years old who pass the advanced test with Northampton Advanced Motorists, are refunded £100 of the £175 Advanced Driving Course fee.

Young drivers Tommy Gardner (19) and Scott Gardner (18) from Wellingborough, were both considered to be at advanced level and sat their tests on the same day, with the same examiner.

Stephen Mold said: “Far too many people lose their lives, or are injured, on the roads of this county every year and I will do everything I can to support activities that reduce that terrible toll. That’s why I am happy to support this brilliant scheme from Northampton Advanced Motorists, which aims to teach young people the habits that should take them safely through a lifetime of driving. I’m so proud of Scott and Tommy, for starting off on the right path – great result for them both.”

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner offers grants from the Road Safety Community Fund, money which is made up from fines paid by drivers who attend speed workshops.

The grants of between £500 and £5,000 are offered to groups and organisations to help them run projects that tackle speeding, enhance road safety and other anti-social road use. Find out how to apply at

New aerial appliance almost ready for the run

A brand-new aerial appliance has been delivered and will shortly be on the run in Northamptonshire – joining four other new engines that have also recently been added to the fleet.

Over the last few weeks firefighters have been trained on how to use the new Scania aerial appliance, which is able to reach heights of 42 metres in less than 90 seconds. It will replace the 28-metre-high aerial appliance at Moulton that has reached the ends of its lifespan.

The new aerial appliance cost more than £750,000, weighs 19.5 tonnes and will have a lifespan of 15 years.

It is the last and most substantial of nine new additions to the fleet, following new Scania fire engines for The Mounts, Moulton, Kettering and Mereway in May last year, and four more that were delivered to Daventry, Wellingborough, Rushden and Corby in the last few weeks.

Lem Freezer, Head of Joint Transport and Logistics for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and Northamptonshire Police, said: “Before the transferral of governance to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, there had been no capital funding to replace the fleet or equipment since 2012. In 2018, we were in the position where more than half of the fleet was at end or past end of life.

“Our Fleet team were successful with a strategy that extended vehicle life, but it has been great to see the fleet significantly enhanced over the last few months. Not only does this give our crews state-of-the-art equipment and a better working environment, but it allows us to better respond to the safety needs of our residents across Northamptonshire.”

Teaming up with Crimestoppers to help young people

Youth service, which is part of the charity Crimestoppers, has been commissioned to educate young people on the Queensway estate in Wellingborough, about knife crime and how to keep themselves and others safe.

Actors from the theatre company that staged a drama production for students in Wellingborough with Stephen Mold

The four-week campaign is part of a wider Safer Streets project being conducted by Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold. The centrepiece of the campaign will be a drama production for Year 9 and 10 students at local school Weavers Academy, which will focus on the impact and consequences of knife crime.

The campaign will also highlight and Crimestoppers as a way to report crime 100% anonymously.

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “It is so important to me that we get young people involved in the programme of work we are conducting in Queensway. This project will help us to give young people the information they need to help them keep safe, and to know how to report any concerns they have about crime.”

Drill tests response to major incident in theatre

The Lighthouse theatre in Kettering was the venue for a very unusual co-production recently.

The venue was filled with smoke and more than 100 people were trying to escape the scene of a major incident while a group of observers looked on – but this wasn’t the performance of a new play. It was Exercise Curtain Call, a major training drill organised by Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service to assess the evacuation of a theatre.

Planning and exercising the response to a wide range of emergencies is a key role for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, often working with a wide range of partners.

This exercise was organised with representatives from East Midlands Ambulance Service, North Northamptonshire and East Northamptonshire First Responders, and Northamptonshire Police.

Emergency Services Cadets and other volunteers played the role of casualties who needed to be evacuated from the premises, while fire safety evacuation policies were evaluated by theatre staff. Emergency responders practised CPR and injury treatment outside the theatre.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service Watch Manager Ben Ireland, who helped to organise the exercise, said: “We don’t often have the opportunity to train with public entertainment venues on this scale, so it was great that so many people were able to be involved.

“This was a fantastic opportunity for us to reinforce the safety procedures that we have in place to keep our communities safe and put them into some practical use.”

Ashleigh Hammond, Theatre Manager at the Lighthouse Theatre, added: “This was a great opportunity to do a real time evacuation, and hopefully it reassures our visitors that we are proactive on fire safety.”

Drill tests response to major incident in theatre

Chief Fire Officer Mark Jones re-signed the Covenant for the Fire Service alongside Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold and Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley have re-signed the Armed Forces Covenant, recognising the value of serving personnel, veterans, Reserve Forces and military families.

The Armed Forces Covenant is an acknowledgement that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve.

In 2019, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) was awarded the Armed Forces Covenant Bronze award for employers, meaning it ensures that it offers the right support for employees whose partners are members of the Armed Forces or who are members of the Reserve Forces.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is now aiming to increase that support further by applying for the Silver award for employers.