Parish constables to make a return

Special constables will be used to patrol small towns and villages in Northamptonshire to help reduce the fear of crime in rural areas, Northamptonshire’s chief constable has said.

Chief Constable Adrian Lee and Police and Crime 
Commissioner Adam Simmonds outlined their vision to help reduce crime in rural areas.

Mr Simmonds said he had listened to the frustrations of people in rural areas who were concerned about the length of time it took for emergency services to respond to 999 calls and who felt there was a lack of specialist knowledge about countryside issues.

In a bid to increase interaction with people in rural areas, a website – – has been launched where people can get crime prevention advice and sign up for text and email alerts about crimes in their area.

Northamptonshire Police also aims to make greater use of special constables to patrol the smaller towns and villages in the county.

Mr Lee said that, depending on the number of volunteers who wanted to become specials, a ‘parish constable’ could be installed in every rural town or village in the county.

He said: “It is more difficult to detect rural crime as there is no CCTV and no instant response to help officers catch the criminals.

“We want to have a lot more visibility in rural areas. We want parish constables who are trained to police in their own community. I want people in rural parts of Northamptonshire to be reassured we do listen to them and understand their concerns.

“I welcome the benefits from further engagement and seeing rural communities benefit from some of the changes that we’re making, for example the significant increase in the Special Constabulary.”