Inspector pledges to make difference

Police Inspector Helen Pritchett
Police Inspector Helen Pritchett

Tackling anti-social behaviour in Daventry is the top priority for the new police inspector Helen Pritchett.

Inspector Pritchett, who has taken on the role of sector commander for the district, warned lighter nights can mean more crime.

She said: “We are starting to get light longer into the evenings and this is traditionally a time when anti-social behaviour becomes a problem, especially when the schools break up.”

“We will be having officers door knocking to speak to them about their concerns and worries. We will be asking for residents’ help.

“We are very aware that we can take all of the enforcement action that we like, however, that will not change everyone’s behaviour. We will look to try to affect this change.”

She will be looking to build on the figures released last week by Northamptonshire Police that showed that of the seven policing sectors, Daventry had cut its anti-social behaviour by the most.

Insp Pritchett added: “The figures show it was down 20 per cent year on year.

“There has been a lot of good work carried out by previous officers in the town but we want to build on those figures and hopefully improve them.”

It has been a return to her routes for Insp Pritchett, who grew up in the town and still lives in the district.

She has worked at Northamptonshire Police for the last 27 years and previously served as a uniform officer in Towcester and Northampton. Her last job in the force was as sector commander for Towcester where spent the last 12 months.

Insp Pritchett added: “There are different challenges to policing Daventry and South Northants.

“In somewhere like Northampton, there are clearer targets in crime and areas to crack down.

“In the rural areas, there is more of an emphasis on community policing and you have to take a different approach.”

She has been in the job for the past three weeks and already believes she can make a difference to the area.

Insp Pritchett added: “There is a chance to do a lot of positive partnership work in Daventry and make a real difference to the wider community.

“It has been a very busy few weeks but it is a very different challenge and one that I am looking forward to.”

Crime in Daventry fell by 15.5 per cent between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013 according to statistics released by Northamptonshire Police this week but the town saw a spike in incidents of sexual offences.

Daventry saw the biggest reduction in criminal damage across the county, which was down by 23.3 per cent, however the town saw an 18.2 per cent increase in the number of sexual offences. The increase was second only to South Northants which increased by 25 per cent.

Overall the results for the town are generally positive with the 15.5 per cent decrease in crime equating to 687 fewer victims and the town seeing a 15.8 per cent reduction in drug offences and 8.7 per cent reduction in robbery. This compares with a 8.1 per cent decrease in drug offences across the county as a whole and a 12.4 per cent decrease in robbery.

Across Northamptonshire there have been a 2,593 fewer victims of crime, a reduction in crime of 5.2 per cent.