Universities first Police team mark a year on campus

The University of Northampton is celebrating its first year of keeping staff and students safe on campus through its partnership with Northamptonshire Police. In 2018 the two organisations collaborated...

The University of Northampton is celebrating its first year of keeping staff and students safe on campus through its partnership with Northamptonshire Police.

In 2018 the two organisations collaborated on the first partnership of its kind, which led to the introduction of a dedicated police team for Northampton’s new Waterside campus. The team -consisting of one sergeant and five officers – is funded by the University to work specifically on campus to ensure no additional burden on the taxpayer or reduction in policing in and around Northampton.

Since the start of the academic year in September 2018, the University Police Team has recorded reports of over 120* alleged crimes against students or staff in both on and off campus, or against other members of the public on University premises. Prior to 2018 reports of crimes were only linked to the University if they happened on campus, but the introduction of the team led to a different reporting procedure. The reports of crimes have led to a total of 39 arrests.

Sergeant Lorna Clarke – who leads the team – said: “Since my team started we investigate and record any crime against a student to ensure their safety – regardless of where in Northampton it took place.

“By being part of the University community, we can apply proactive, intelligence-led police methods to detect crimes that would have otherwise gone uncovered. In addition to crime investigation, we have been using other police powers such as stop-and-search and warranted searches to disrupt anyone attempting to commit crimes at the University or against students.

Sgt Clarke added: “Not all crimes will result in an arrest – and often other actions are more appropriate. However, by sharing information with the University we can prevent those intent on committing offences against students from being able to target them in a way that was not possible before.”

University of Northampton’s Director of Campus Services, Becky Bradshaw said: “We are delighted that this partnership with Northamptonshire Police has been so successful in keeping our community safe.

“The Police Team acts as a strong deterrent to anyone thinking of targeting our students. Their level of involvement in many other aspects at the University – such as completing safety talks, talking to applicants and their families on Open Days and meeting with or leading staff training sessions – have made them a valuable part of the University of Northampton.

“We have had a huge amount of interest from other police forces and universities around the country who are looking at this new model and seeing if this, or something similar, could also work for them.”