Northamptonshire Police is making changes to the way it works in a bid to improve efficiency and provide a more flexible, victim and customer focused service that is fit for the future.
The force will be introducing new ways of working in several areas next month, with the changes based on detailed analysis of the demand on policing services across the county.
Emergency and urgent calls for assistance will always remain a priority, with changes to the daily duties and workload of response officers aimed at improving response times and increasing the time spent out on patrol.
There will be more dedicated resources for investigating crime, a new appointments system for incidents that don’t need an immediate response, greater investment in protecting the most vulnerable and a re-focus of priorities for neighbourhood policing teams.
Neighbourhood teams will continue to be based in the communities they serve.
Officers and PCSOs will be known within their neighbourhoods and will have more time to deal with local issues and be more visible and accessible in their communities.
The introduction of a new Managed Appointments Unit will improve the service provided to people reporting incidents that don’t need an immediate response, with a dedicated team of officers offering appointments at police premises or community locations.
This will allow officers to see people more quickly and mean response and neighbourhood officers can remain visible and active on the frontline.
The force is investing in more resources to investigate crime and protect the most vulnerable.
The new Force Investigation Team will take on the investigation of crimes that would previously have been dealt with by response or neighbourhood officers, freeing them up to focus on their core role, while CID officers and specialist teams will continue to investigate more serious and complex cases.
Dedicated public protection and cyber-crime teams will focus on complex and growing areas of crime, such as child sexual exploitation and online crime, and a new Domestic Abuse Prevention and Investigation Team will bring together existing specialist resources, providing a consistent countywide service to support abuse victims.
Chief Constable Simon Edens said: “Over the past year we’ve been working hard to prepare for the introduction of our new policing model, which is based on thorough research and in-depth analysis of the demand of our services.
”This evidence–led approach has helped us develop new ways of working to provide our communities with a more flexible, victim and customer focused service that can respond to the changing face of crime and other demands, and better help those who need it.
“We’ll do this by having the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time.
“We’re changing the responsibilities of some roles, introducing new shift patterns, developing new teams and, thanks to additional funding from the police and crime commissioner, investing in more frontline operational officers and staff to ensure we meet growing demand.
“These changes are crucial to helping us provide a policing service that is fit for the future and I am confident our new model will enable us to deliver a more efficient, modern and responsive service for the people of Northamptonshire.”
Northamptonshire police and crime commissioner Stephen Mold said: “It’s important the force reviews how it operates and adapts and transforms to keep our communities safe.
“Our police service is rightly evolving to meet increases in demand, social behaviour changes and developments in technology to enable it to deal with new and emerging crime types and ensure it’s well prepared for any future challenges.
“A huge amount of time and energy has gone into this review, and the analysis undertaken has provided a much clearer understanding of the operational needs of the force, and as a result, this year I have provided them with additional resources, including funding for more frontline staff.
“In addition, we have supported the increased use and roll out of mobile technology and have made significant investment in the police estate, replacing outdated buildings with purpose built facilities, designed to support the needs and operational focus of a modern, efficient police force.
“We will continue to work very closely with the chief constable as we develop and finalise our strategic plans to ensure we have the appropriate infrastructure and estate required to support the constabulary in the years ahead, and help to make Northamptonshire safer.”
Changes made to the force estate include the new Weekly Woods Custody Centre at the North Kettering Business Park, which is now operational and replaces outdated facilities at Corby police station.
The new northern accommodation building on the same site provides office space to support policing in the north of the county.
The force is also continuing to look for opportunities to share accommodation with partners, such as Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and local councils.
Moving public enquiry desks into shared space within council customer service centres has proved successful in Northampton and Kettering, and in Corby, the neighbourhood team shares office space with Corby Council’s community safety and neighbourhood management team in Deene House.
As well as a joint police and fire headquarters, fire stations in Thrapston, Rushden and Mereway (Northampton) accommodate local policing teams, while frontline officers also have access to all retained community fire stations in the county so they can spend more time on their designated beat.
The new policing model will be in operation from October 30.