Northampton

Northamptonshire PCC Adam Simmonds plans to pay 'specials'

Adam Simmonds
Image caption Adam Simmonds set out his ideas for savings

Members of the "specials" police force in Northamptonshire, normally made up of volunteers, are to be paid for working more hours than contracted for.

The county has more than 250 specials with ranks from constable to superintendent.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Adam Simmonds had said he wanted a paid reserve force but now accepts the specials can fulfil this role.

The Police Federation is expected to comment on the arrangement later.

In his first annual report to the Northamptonshire Police and Crime Panel, Mr Simmonds said his objective was to put more emphasis on preventing crime.

This meant devoting resources to fighting social problems, such as drug and alcohol abuse - behaviour which leads to a lot of crime, he said.

Integrating 'back room' services

More "boots on pavements" was his objective, the report said, but this had to be seen in the context of budget constraints and paying "specials" as a reservist force was to achieve this.

Money from the £123m annual budget had been set aside to pay specials willing to put in more hours.

The report said budgets were "still a thorny issue" and Mr Simmonds said he saw pooling "back room" functions such as finance, human relations, procurement and IT as a way to cut costs.

In Northamptonshire, he suggested there was not reason why police and fire stations should not be in the same building.

"The real opportunity imposed by tightening finances is to find new and innovative ways to deliver partnering fit for the 21st century," said Mr Simmonds.

"We are already integrating our police and fire services.

"This will help to reduce duplication, deliver cost savings but also enable greater reinforcement of our frontline."

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