PCC confident police and fire services are both heading in the right direction

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire believes significant improvements are being made at both the police force and the fire service.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.

Both organisations received disappointing last inspection results from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), with the fire service requiring improvement in all areas inspected, while the police force required improvement in reducing crime, keeping people safe and its legitimacy. It was also rated inadequate for its efficiency. Those reports were based on inspections in 2018/19.

But Stephen Mold, the PCC who effectively oversees both forces – having taken on the fire service from the county council in January 2019 – believes both are now heading in the right direction,

Speaking about the police force, Mr Mold told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “There will be some data coming out in a report in the not too distant future which does demonstrate that there have been improvements made. It’s not as comprehensive as the last report and I don’t know what the timeline will be for the next inspection.

“But I’ve got really good points that tell me that the force under Nick Adderley’s leadership is starting to make progress. And I can honestly say that I’ve never been more confident in the leadership of Northamptonshire Police than I am at this time.”

Mr Mold, who recently outlined the challenges that coronavirus is posing for police and fire staff, says a mini inspection has also recently taken place for the fire service.

He said: “If you remember they came in November 2018 and we had the report that said after six months of governance change under Darren Dovey’s leadership that things had progressed. They have just come back and have seen that significant steps have been made and that they have no causes for concern.

“But things can still go awry if people don’t keep their nose to the grindstone, and obviously we’re in uncharted territory in terms of what is happening at the moment.”

The PCC is currently serving an extra year on top of his four year mandate, after elections were cancelled earlier this month due to the coronavirus.