Officers looking to make the area safer

Marie Turner,  Phil Mills and Keith Finson.
Marie Turner, Phil Mills and Keith Finson.

There has been a chequered recent history of having a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Daventry.

In 2008 it was announced that the CID unit in the town would relocate to Weston Favell in Northampton and investigations would take place from there.

Following an absence of six years, CID returned to Daventry Police Station in March last year looking after the Daventry and South Northamptonshire area.

The detective inspector in charge of the new unit is keen to emphasise the difference returning to the town has made.

DI Phil Mills said: “One of the biggest things about moving back to the town is we are in the same room as the safer community teams that do a lot of the day-to-day work.

“This means that we have joint briefings together and that way the information can be spread very quickly among the different departments.

“Previously you might have one department having a briefing and then another, so it gets slowed down. This way, we can get out there and make a difference much more quickly than previously.

“It is not a revolutionary approach, but it is a sensible one. We are the first to do at Daventry but it is being used in different parts of the county.”

The unit has three detective sergeants , nine detectives and four volume crime officers responsible for acquisitive crime.

There are also two officers responsible for looking after the prisons at Onley. DI Mills said: “There are officers in the police station from 8am to 10pm, which means that during those hours, any day of the week, they can get hold of a member of CID.

“When the unit was based over at Northampton we would not have done anything differently to what we do now but we would have had to have found a different way of doing things.”

It is clear from speaking to the detectives working inside the vast space that is Daventry Police Station that they prefer to be based in the town.

Detective Sergeant Keith Finson said: “We have two prisons in the area, which is my responsibility, and it is easier to be here rather than at Northampton.

“I think if you were to ask the criminals in Daventry would they prefer a CID to be in Daventry, I am fairly sure the answer would be no.

“The fact that we are now here and that is something that criminals wouldn’t like makes me immensely satisfied.” DI Mills added: “I think all of the officers prefer the set up that we have at the moment.”

One of the other detective sergeants added to the benefits of working with the other officers in Daventry.

DS Marie Turner said: “My responsibility is working with other forces from outside the area.

“It is mainly intelligence led and speaking to other agencies and forces which includes Leicestershire, West Midlands and even as far afield as the Met in London or West Yorkshire Police.”

With the new CID in place for just under a year, DI Mills is looking back at the success the unit ihas enjoyedso far.

He said: “We have had some luck in tackling acquisitive crime in Brackley and we are looking to deal with this in Daventry.

“We are also heavily into working at Operation Limit which is tackling violence in the county but, in particular, incidents of violence that occur in the town centre during the night.”

DI Mills also added that he was looking to tackle the problems with rural crime in the Daventry area as one of the priorities for the future.

This includes further working with the officers based in Daventry and also using social media.

He said: “The area has a very large rural area.

“I am in constant touch with Jon Lloyd, who has become the new sector commander for Daventry, and that allows greater collaboration between his team and my team.

“One of the big things that we are looking to do is to tackle crime in rural areas.

“We want to work with Farmwatch and use social media to improve communication.

“Having the guys on the safer community team on board is important for the rural areas because the guys out there will know the area like the back of their hand.

“We want criminals to know that there is no safe place and that we will come and find them, wherever they are.”