But as he puts his first annual budget to bed after a somewhat pointless low key consultation excercise he would do well to reflect on some of the County forces more bizarre spending commitments and question whether or not he and the force have got all of their priorities in order.
On Friday whilst waiting to be collected for a meeting next to a the Police forces stand in the Guildhalls One Stop Shop, I happened across a warning on a leaflet from Northamptonshire Police informing me that the local constabulary together with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and the UK Border Agency were
"Strengthening our borders"
"Protecting the waterways of Northamptonshire"
Feeling relieved that Becketts Park Marina was now safe from any imminent Al Queda strike I couldn't help read further into the very nice and glossy leaflet to discover more as to how I as a member of the public could play my full part in protecting the County's borders from water bound Jihadists and International smuggling rings. I wasn't disappointed.
But was does a river vigilante look and listen for I hear you ask? Well amongst the very helpful advise i was told to be on my guards for people who give
"evasive answers to common boating questions"
Now, I have always been suspicious about people who don't know the difference between their boating knots and I will now make a point of asking so called daytrippers and holiday boaters to tell me the difference between their Alpine Butterfly Bends and Rat Tail Stoppers.
Also there was some very helpful advise for my future Grand Union Canal watch on suspiciously painted Narrowboats I should I am told be wary of
"persons walking around the vessel independent of each other, taking notes ostensibly on operations and meeting as a group after their observations are recorded to compare notes"
|please click for full leaflet and more from PROJECT PEGASUS|
Wow, I just new that all of those bearded guys (and some girls, with and without beards) from the Northamptonshire Inland Waterways Association were really up to no good inviting boats in from other parts of the country to cross the counties water border to rally on frog island. And to think I used to sit and sip real ale with them and answer their questions on government affairs!
I will now have to call the Project Kraken hotline to share with them my concerns or I could email them at their dedicated email email@example.com
And for those of you now really worried about the safety of the Stoke Bruene canal museum and or an unwelcome assault up the Blisworth tunnel you can also watch the northantspolice youtube video below for more handy tips on spotting the Marine based mujaheddin. The video fronted by TV presenter Nici Matthews begins with images from 9-11 before going on to show us clips of battleships, sea based military operations and young couples being caught under boat tarpaulins obviously up to no good. My favourite clip is the "How to spot a terrorist section" apparently they could look like Belgian female students! The video it seems was shot in Hamphire and may not be too relevant for River Nene based surveillance operations
Now of course terrorism is no joke, and we all I am sure are aware of when something is just not right, but in times of austerity and competing pressures on police funding is Project Kraken and their combined leaflet and video spend really a top priority in Britain's most landlocked county?
And before you all go off on boat watch, if you think the above is just a one off then how about pondering over the police spend on PROJECT PEGASUS !
You guessed it Northamptonshire Polices high profile campaign against possible serious crime and terrorist activity at the County's International Airports (well Sywell) Now let me be clear here Sywell could well be a target for terrorist activity and plane based attacks, after all the whole 911 atrocity started with flight training at a similar US based airport, but we already have clear operational procedures in place to protect our airstrips small and large. So do we really need a high profile public input? Sywell may only cater for just a handful of flights each day but the public leaflet and associated video warn us all to be on our guard against strange questions from pilots, crew or passengers.
|please click for full page|
|please click for full page|
Now again whilst probably and realistically more of a threat than any boat based Taliban threat, is it necessary to have anything more than our local special branch having a word in the ear of the the management and staff at Sywell to keep us all safe from any major light aircraft threat.
Do we the Northamptonshire public, who rarely if ever visit Sywell apart from the odd wedding reception really need leaflets and videos to inform us all to look to the skies and be aware of strange aviation activity when visiting Sywell?
Perhaps Adam Simmonds could inform us how the above Projects fit into his "Getting better value for money" pledge?
Or as the man says himself
“Much is known about what policing strategies can reduce crime and what things are a waste of public money. I will ensure that evidence forms part of local debate about policing. I will not be afraid to pilot innovative approaches to crime reduction and learn from mistakes."