Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner welcomes drop in HMIC scrutiny after 'plateau' of violence

Northamptonshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has praised the chief constable after the force managed to reach a 'plateau' in the levels of violence in the county.

Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold
Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold

Since January 2013, Northamptonshire Police has been under increased scrutiny from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) after the force was criticised fro the accuracy of its recording of violent crime.

But HMIC has now decided to place the force back under “routine monitoring” following an improvement in its tackling of violent crime.

The de-escalation of scrutiny follows the meeting of criteria set by HMIC for the county force to reach “a plateau in levels of violence against the person, with no adverse crime trends elsewhere.”

The result comes almost a year to the day that chief constable Simon Edens took to the helm of Northamptonshire Police, having begun work on July 27 last year.

PCC Stephen Mold said: “I’d like to congratulate Simon Edens and all of his officers on achieving this important milestone.

“Chief Constable Edens and I share a desire to deliver an outstanding police service for the people of Northamptonshire and I’m delighted that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary’s can see that the force is making real progress.

“Northamptonshire Police and I are determined that this is the start of a continued improvement as we aim to make Northamptonshire safer.”

Mr Edens said the decrease in HMIC scrutiny was a “very significant move” for the force.

He said: “I know my officers and staff will see it as recognition of their focus and diligence in protecting people from harm, our core purpose.

“It is also an opportunity for me and other senior leaders here to reiterate the need to remain focused and to avoid complacency.

“We will work tirelessly to reduce violent crime and continue to work with partners to understand the root-cause of the issues which lead people to commit violent offences”.

In a letter to Mr Edens, Zoe Billingham, HM Inspector of Constabulary, wrote: “I know that since you came into post in July 2015, you and your staff have worked tirelessly to address the long-standing problems that HMIC has identified over a number of years.

“Since January 2013, the force has been under intense scrutiny and I am delighted that the force has now turned a corner. I’m sure you look forward, as do I, to seeing violent crime declining over the coming months.”