Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold is interviewed by the media at the launch of the It Only Takes One campaign in April

2022 has seen more great work across Northamptonshire from our emergency services. Here we take a look back at some highlights for the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold over the last 12 months.

 

The year started in January with a number of CCTV help points being installed in parks across Northamptonshire. It came as a result of the latest round of Safer Streets funding that had been secured by the OPFCC from the Home Office. It also saw then Prime Minister Boris Johnson, accompanied by Stephen, pay a visit to Weston Favell Police Station where he met members of the Neighbourhood Policing Team led by Inspector Beth Warren and was shown around one of the two new mobile ‘Beat Buses’.

In February, the Commissioner bought the LSAVI scheme to Northamptonshire. The Licensing Security & Vulnerability Initiative (Licensing SAVI) is the first ever National Policing Award for safety and security, and Stephen urged pubs and clubs to sign up to help tackle violence against women and girls. And Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Dominic Goble, was full of praise for the Northampton Guardians after joining them on the Safer Nights Out (SNO) van in Northampton.

March saw a campaign to improve safety in a Wellingborough estate win praise from the Minister for Crime and Policing. Kit Malthouse MP visited Hemmingwell to get a closer look at how the £400k Safer Streets scheme was improving the lives of residents in the area. It saw extra CCTV added on the estate and hundreds of residents received free home security products.

In April, organisations across Northampton came together to tackle violence and harassment against women and girls. Called ‘It only takes one community to say enough is enough’, the campaign aims to challenge attitudes and behaviour such as cat-calling and unwanted comments that have an impact on women’s lives and feelings of safety. The campaign was launched at The Picturedrome in Northampton, with pub owner Suzy Keeping signing her staff up to undergo Shout Up! training, which encourages them to recognise warning signs of unwanted behaviour. Suzy said: “Let’s not pretend it doesn’t happen to every woman, it does. We think that’s how it is.  But I am 100% up for helping to make a change.”

April also saw the Knife Angel, a national monument against violence and aggression made from 100,000 knives, toured across Northamptonshire to serve as a reminder against the dangers of carrying a knife. The impressive sculpture was placed outside All Saints’ Church in Northampton, and also stopped off in Wellingborough and Corby.

Four new fire engines were launched in May to mark the first new fire engines for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service in more than a decade. Each engine cost roughly £350k. Stephen said: “When I took over governance of NFRS from the county council, the aim was to get us into a position where we could stabilise our finances and then be able to invest.”

Stephen also welcomed the launch of the Government’s White Paper on the future of the fire service, saying that it gives a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform the sector.

Staying with fire, June saw Stephen announce Mark Jones as his preferred candidate to become the new Chief Fire Officer for Northamptonshire, following the retirement of Darren Dovey. Following a thorough interview process, the appointment was confirmed by the Police, Fire and Crime Panel, with Mark then starting in the role in September.

In July,  17 new bleed control cabinets were installed across the county by Off The Streets NN, with the support of funding from Stephen Mold. The cabinets contain medical items that are used to stop catastrophic bleeding and keep someone alive until the emergency services arrive. July also saw the conclusion of the Safer Streets project in Hemmingwell. Stephen said: “When I’ve visited Hemmingwell it’s been great to speak to residents, who have told me that they’re so glad that the estate has been invested in.”

Later that month, it was announced the OPFCC had been successful for a fifth time in securing Safer Streets funding, with the latest round set to include funding to improve the Queensway estate in Wellingborough, as well as enhancing night-time safety in Northampton and Kettering.

August saw the Commissioner pay a visit to a programme he had funded known as the Elite Survival Day. The day is designed to give young people who are on the cusp of gang involvement a chance to escape their everyday life, learn new skills and build a rapport with the people who are trying to help them. The training day sees them build shelters and hammocks, create fires, and learn to tie knots under the watchful eye of former marine John Sullivan, who has been running Elite Survival Training for the last 12 years. The Elite Survival Day forms part of the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) programme which aims to reduce gang violence and involves multiple agencies.

Stephen also awarded Northants Litter Wombles a grant of almost £2,700 to fund additional litter picking equipment to help them clean up neighbourhoods across the county.

September saw the Commissioner fund a new environmentally friendly fleet of hybrid motorbikes to help Northamptonshire Police improve its accessibility and visibility to members of the public. The bikes will give police officers and PCSOs greater visibility as they patrol their neighbourhoods, helping them more easily engage with people.

The Commissioner also joined forces with Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service to run a pilot programme for girls promoting confidence and resilience. It saw 11 girls from Kettering Buccleuch Academy selected to attend a two-day pilot course at Kettering Fire Station.

In October, children and teenagers from two Northamptonshire estates (Hemmingwell in Wellingborough and Blackthorn in Northampton) with higher levels of gang activity took part in a football tournament. The event helped educate them on the dangers of knife crime and joining gangs and was organised as part of a Week of Action by Northamptonshire Police targeting serious violence.

A new, free smartphone app – Flare Report – was launched in November 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.

It also saw Northampton College launch ‘Stand by Her’ training for male students. The training tackles harassment and cultural attitudes towards women and girls and forms part of the ongoing Safer Streets project being delivered by the OPFCC.

December started with Stephen confirming he will offer Nick Adderley a new contract to return as Chief Constable at the end of his contract in 2023. The decision will go the Police, Fire and Crime Panel for approval in the New Year.

It also saw the Commissioner team up with Northampton Town Football Club to start a conversation with men and ask for their help in tackling harassment against women. The partnership formed part of the It Only Takes One campaign that was launched back in April. Cobblers players Sam Hoskins, Lee Burge, Ben Fox, Josh Eppiah and Harvey Lintott promote the campaign, urging fans to think twice about comments they make think of making.