Police commissioner vows to divert funds to cyber crime unit in five year 'vision' for Northamptonshire

Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold launching his Police and Crime Plan at Guilsborough Academy.
Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold launching his Police and Crime Plan at Guilsborough Academy.

Northamptonshire's Police and Crime Commissioner vowed to make children's online safety a top priority as he launched his crime-tackling vision for the county in front of a school assembly.

Stephen Mold launched his new Police and Crime Plan at Guilsborough Academy this morning, setting out his strategic direction for policing over the next five years.

Stephen Mold.

Stephen Mold.

The document – which the PCC is required to produce by law within the first year of being in office – has been drawn up after a lengthy public consultation.

In a move away from his predecessor Adam Simmonds, Mr Mold's "strategic vision" does not make bold claims such as increasing the number of special officers or cut violent crime by 40 per cent.

Instead a key priority, he said, will be "keeping the young safe," which he said will see more funding to reduce cyber crime.

Mr Mold said: “I have always said that I would not rush into creating a new plan for the county, and instead that I would take the time to work closely with those who will play a key role in delivering a safer Northamptonshire to ensure we created a robust, well thought-out vision that will make a real difference to everyone living and working in the county.

"I believe this is exactly what we have achieved.

Last week Mr Mold announced a £2million pledge to create 46 new "frontline roles," which he said would include 30 new beat bobbies and an increase in numbers at its cyber-crime unit.

Guilsborough Academy was chosen for the launch this morning, as it coincided with the school's Cyber-Safety Week.

Felix Wright, from Year 11, said: "It's important because cyber bullying is becoming more common. People can say things online and not see the impact it has on others. You can't see yourself hurting them, so they might do it more often."

The pupils at Guilsborough Academy, like those at schools across the county, cover online safety in lessons, but they said more could be done to educate young people about the risks and about cyberbullying.

The Police and Crime plan also highlights other key priorities, including:

- Increasing the awareness and reporting of child exploitation

- Intervening at the earliest opportunity to divert young people from being the victims or offenders of the future

- Increase accessibility to and visibility of policing in both urban and rural areas

- Helping police officers to spend more time on the frontline by providing them with "enabling technology" so they have to spend less time on paper work and more time in the community.

- Tackling Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

- Reducing alcohol-related crime

- Reducing the number of burglaries in the county