Empowering Parish and Town Councils in Northamptonshire

Wildlife & Rural Crime Week of Action

Northants CALC is proud to be a partner working with Northamptonshire Police and will be posting news items from parishes around Northamptonshire who have taken action to reduce crime in their areas.


Like many other small villages when we have looked at the past into 'policing' it has been very much a process driven by Neighbourhood Watch and a small team of residents. Over recent years many aspects of crime and how to report/prevent crime has evolved and therefore in 2017/2018 we looked how we can be far more pro-active and raise awareness about crime. We also looked at splitting the focus into 2 areas …….. Summer time Crime & Winter time crime.

1) We started to push residents to report any suspicious events via 101….. using the strapline …'IF IS A CRIME AT THE TIME DIAL 999 IF NOT 101 OR GO ON-LINE'

2) We pushed hard via NHW flyers not to fall into the trap 'somebody else will do it.

3) We tried to move away from the perception NHW was a group of 10 people who met up every 2 months to discuss things……… 'We are all members of NHW ….. We all have a responsibility to look after one and another.

4) In the summer period we again communicated by Flyers/Village Newsletter the importance of keeping doors locked and windows closed at the front of the house if you were in the back garden…….. Simple and obvious? The fist point yet but the number of properties that were easy accessible at the front was frightening.

5) In the winter/dark nights we pushed that you should all check you outside lights etc…. are they working/do bulbs need changing etc.

6) One of the biggest mountains to climb was that of complacency. 'It will never happen to me' ….. 'We don't have crime in my area' etc …… We really pushed hard that Complacency was a thief's dream and a welcome Christmas present in the winter.

7) As we have a lot of on road parking we with various police/NHW posters etc pushed hard 'keep things out of sight' …. 'Don't leave valuables on show'

In 2018 we needed to move to the next level…… PCSO. We had the opportunity to join forces with 4 other surrounding villages to share and sponsor our own PCSO. There were several things we were apprehensive about.

1) The cost.

2) How would the cost be split

3) Would the village with the highest cost get all the attention ie 'He who shouts the loudest gets all the attention.

We also had to consider 'What do we want from a PCSO'?

What people were looking for in Pitsford were the following

1) Visible presence of a Policeman/woman.

2) Peace of mind they had some-one to go to should they has a problem or want advice.

3) Get that feeling that the police do care about our small village.

I am pleased to confirm that in our first year 2018/19 the introduction of a PCSO has been a huge success.

1) The cost is seen and is in actuality well worth it.

2) The way the cost is split is very fair

3) Each village appointed a SPOC…. ( Single point of contact ) who meet on a quarterly basis to share best practices and also discuss current areas of focus. Over and above that should we experience an incident we ensure we communicate between us to enable us to keep our residents informed.

What does the PCSO bring to the table?

1) Each SPOC was given the task off coming up with 2/3 priorities for their village.

2) For Pitsford they were …….. a) visible presence at key times in the Village …. We have 2 schools ….. Pitsford Primary School and Pitsford School. b) traffic control…… With the volume of traffic in the county at present Pitsford is an extremely busy short cut and that coupled with on road parking plus school buses caused great concern for the safety of children/elderly residents. c) offering advice on security.

Summary of the successes of having our PCSO Paul Miller.

1) He is regularly seen outside the primary school in the mornings and afternoons. His police vehicle is strategically parked which by default slows traffic down.

2) He is regularly seen not only driving around the village but also parking his vehicle in the centre of the village and walking the streets so people can speak to him.

3) We have had the mobile police 'station' parked I the village which attracted 30+ villagers to visit it and ask various questions on policing/security….. Whilst the numbers may look low this was the first time we held such an event and we intend to make this a regular event.

4) He supports not only the SPOCS but also engages with the NHW co-ordinators to ensure we all are 'singing off the same hymn sheet' and send out the same message.

5) He has visited the schools to talk to the children/students which enhances the perception of the police and also makes them more aware of crime that surrounds Northampton.

6) He has made time to attend meetings in the village ie PC meetings/WI meetings etc and if there is an event tin the village and he is on shift he will show his face.

7) He has really assisted in pushing the awareness of Rural Crime.

All of the above have ensure that we have met what residents were looking for ie.

4) Visible presence of a Policeman/woman.

5) Peace of mind they had some-one to go to should they has a problem or want advice.

6) Get that feeling that the police do care about our small village.

We are looking towards 2020 and what more can we do ? ……… Our big push is getting more people signed up to the Neighbourhood alert system and looking at better ways of communicating with everybody in a timely manner whilst at the same time keeping the momentum of the actions he carries out at present. We are not going to stand still.

Posted: Thu, 10 Oct 2019 09:37 by Lesley Sambrook Smith

Tags: Police