Investing in the future
Investing in our estate, making the best use of technology, working in partnership and developing our staff
It is important that we invest appropriately in new, modern and more efficient buildings to make sure our estate is fit for the future.
In 2012 we opened the Criminal Justice Centre in Northampton, our first new building for several decades. Our new complex in Kettering, which opened in summer 2017, includes a new custody suite – to replace old and outdated facilities at Corby – and a three-storey office building.
We will continue to look for opportunities to collaborate with partners and other forces to help us make the best use of resources, including sharing accommodation where appropriate.
Making the most of new technology is vital and we will make sure our officers and staff have the equipment they need to do their job without the need to return to a fixed base, reducing travel time and costs, and increasing the time spent on patrol and being visible in the community.
We will train and develop our officers and staff so they have the most up to date skills and knowledge to enable them to do their job and provide the best possible service. For example, working in the new Force Investigation Team will help officers develop their investigative skills alongside experienced detectives within the wider Crime Investigation Command.
Are police buildings going to close?
We are committed to being in the heart of the communities we serve and Neighbourhood officers will continue to be based locally so they are best placed to respond to the specific needs of their communities. For example, Corby’s Neighbourhood team is now based in council premises, sharing an office with the borough council’s Community Safety and Neighbourhood Management Team.
It is important to remember that buildings don’t offer a public service, our police officers and staff do. Many of our buildings are now too big, too old and too expensive to run and it is important that we invest appropriately in new, modern and more efficient buildings to make sure our estate is fit for the future.
Our most recent new building, and the first in many years, was the Criminal Justice Centre in Northampton. As well as office space, this provided a modern, efficient custody suite for Northampton, Wellingborough, Daventry and South Northamptonshire, replacing out-dated facilities at local stations. Our new development in Kettering will provide updated custody facilities for the north and east of the county.
We are also sharing accommodation with Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service. As well as a joint police and fire headquarters, local policing teams are now based out of fire stations in Thrapston, Rushden and Mereway (Northampton), and our front-line officers have access to all community fire stations in the county, meaning they can spend more time on their beat.
What will happen to public enquiry desks?
We have been reviewing how people contact the police and how they use our public enquiry desks. Fewer people now visit a police station in person, with most people preferring to contact the police by phone or online.
However, we know it’s important to you to be able to speak to a police officer or member of staff in person if you need to.
One of the things we are considering is to move our enquiry desks to more accessible, central locations. We are talking to local councils to see where there are opportunities to move them to council premises, to provide a one-stop-shop facility.
This has already proved successful in some parts of the county. In Northampton, the enquiry desk has been located at the one-stop-shop at the Guildhall since February 2014 and in Kettering, it moved to the borough council’s customer service office in January 2015. In Oundle, the enquiry desk closed in early 2015 and officers now hold regular surgeries in busy areas, such as the library, shopping areas and country parks, which have proved convenient and accessible for local people.