Police Now officers tackling crime and anti-social behaviour across Northamptonshire
Wednesday 16 June 2021
Nearly 40,000 fewer anti-social behaviour incidents nationally in areas with Police Now officers – equivalent to 14% fall
Substantial decrease in criminal damage & arson, burglary and theft amongst other crimes
Police Now attracts and develops the most diverse group of officers in policing
Police Now officers are playing a vital role in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Northamptonshire.
Communities nationwide where Police Now officers have been posted for the last 22-months have seen 38,772 fewer incidents of anti-social behaviour compared to the same time period from October 2016 – equivalent to a 14 per cent drop.
Officers on Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme have been working alongside their colleagues within their local neighbourhood teams.
As well as the drop in anti-social behaviour, communities have also seen 14,301 fewer incidents of criminal damage & arson – a fall of 13 per cent. There were 12,460 fewer incidents of burglary – a fall of 16 per cent – and 31,732 fewer incidents of theft, equivalent to a 14 per cent fall.
PC Aimee Holdcroft of Northamptonshire Police has worked across several neighbourhood teams and has focused on tackling drug use and ASB. She has executed drugs warrants and facilitated closure orders at addresses as well as coordinating days of action which led to multiple stop-and-searches where a man was found in possession of cannabis. Several lines of intelligence regarding local drug lines were also gathered which have been used to disrupt drug dealers and users.
On another occasion, PC Holdcroft carried out a warrant in Semilong following reports of suspicious behaviour and the smell of cannabis at a particular property. Over 300 cannabis plants were recovered and a man was arrested at the scene who was later convicted and sentenced to several years in prison.
This ongoing work has increased public confidence in the neighbourhood teams as communities can see that officers are acting on intelligence and working hard to tackle the issues.
PC Holdcroft said: “This kind of work relies heavily on the information that the public and local residents can give us – they are our eyes and ears and as soon as something is reported we do everything we can to see the operation through. This is why it is important that the police represent the area that it looks after – the better suited an officer is to an area, the better understanding they have of the crimes happening in different area and how best to tackle them.”
Police Now’s mission is to transform communities by recruiting, developing and inspiring diverse leaders in policing.
Officers on Police Now’s programmes develop skills in leadership and problem-solving. They share a commitment to public service, fighting crime and inspiring social change alongside their colleagues.
Police Now has recruited a total of 1,830 officers across 33 forces in the UK, including Northamptonshire Police. Chief Constable Nick Adderley have invested in their communities by partnering with Police Now for the past three years, with 16 police constables joining the force via this route.
Police Now consistently recruits more officers who are women or from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds compared to any other entry route into policing. Police Now recruitment data shows that, nationally, nearly one in five (19 per cent) of those joining Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programmes in 2020/2021 identified as coming from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background.
Co-founder of Police Now and former Detective Chief Inspector
Q&A with Police Constable Aimee Holdcroft
Neighbourhood Police Officer
National Graduate Leadership Programme Participant
Police Now is trying to increase diversity in the force. Do you think having a force that better reflects the community it serves helps to bring down crimes like anti-social behaviour and why?
Yes, as the police should represent the area that it looks after. The better suited someone is to an area gives the officer a better understanding as to why people may act in a certain way or to why deprived areas for example have higher rates of crime than affluent areas.
What was the most important lesson you took from your training with Police Now that has enabled you to deal with crime / support your community?
The most memorable lessons that stuck in my mind were when we had speakers come in and talk to us about certain issues. There was one speaker called Paul Hannaford who came to talk to my cohort, he had been addicted to drugs and was in a really bad place but he turned his life around. I think that gave me an understanding as to why and how people turn to drugs and taught me to open my mind when I am talking with these people. For example, drugs and alcohol may be a way of coping with something or blocking a trauma out. This helped me be more supportive to people struggling with these kinds of issues and try and offer them help and support rather than just penalising them.
Have you implemented any new initiatives to reduce ASB or burglary crimes, or build confidence in policing in your community?
I have worked on lots of areas and in each area there has been different types of ASB. I have focused on drug use and the ASB that has been caused by this so this may be smells of cannabis, people coming and going from addresses and suspicious people who are hanging around in areas where there would normally be children or families. This has resulted in me conducting drugs warrants at addresses, facilitating closure orders on addresses, and conducting days of action where we have flooded an area with officers in plain clothes. This resulted in many stop-and-searches and disruption to drug users and dealers.
We conducted a day of action in the St James area of Northampton, including a busy park that is used by children and families. This day of action lead to multiple stop-and-searches. We stopped someone who had been seen to make a drug deal and they were found in possession of cannabis. This is seen as low level in the drug world but it did lead to multiple intelligence submissions around drug lines in the area and also what and who the users were using to get their fix.
A warrant was also conducted in the Semilong area of Northampton following numerous reports of smells of cannabis and suspicious behaviour. I then acted upon this myself and a cannabis factory was located in an address, where there were over 300 cannabis plants. A man was arrested at the scene for cultivation of cannabis and was convicted. He was sentenced for a number of years and will also face deportation upon his release from prison. We believe the man who was found in this address was what is known as a ‘gardener’ – he was not the main mastermind behind this work but is still conducting the criminal activity. This kind of work relies heavily on the information that members of the public and local residents can tell us about an address, they are our eyes and ears. As soon as it is reported, we do everything we can to develop this kind of intel which then leads to us conducting drugs warrants that have to be sworn out at magistrates’ court and are then enforced by the local team.
This has in turn boosted public confidence, as members of the public who report drug use and dealing to us have seen that the police are trying to do something about the problem.
What has been the moment that you have been most proud of professionally in the last 22 months?
The moment that I am most proud of professionally is probably that, currently, I am OIC to a regional drug investigation. The investigation is looking into the supply of cannabis and how this is being sold around the country but is being falsely advertised as being legal.
Using data taken from Police Recorded Crime Statistics, the independently peer-reviewed figures compare the 22-month period from October 2016 to July 2018 before any Police Now officers had joined their local communities to the period when they joined from October 2018 to July 2020.
The data presented here is subject to limitations with Police Recorded Crime Statistics and methodology. More details on this are available at the bottom of the following Police Now webpage.