Friday brief: Three Northants police officers admit misconduct
Police disciplinary hearings, news in brief from across the county and some things for the weekend
Hope you’re all faring comfortably in this heat. Our brief today includes some worrying news about a spate of deliberate fires across the county which is currently a tinderbox after weeks of hot weather. There’s also some news about efforts to spruce up unloved areas of one of the county’s left behind neighbourhoods and some things to do over the coming week.
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Northamptonshire Police has published reports detailing misconduct cases against three officers.
The separate disciplinary hearings which took place last month and minutes of which have been published this week, led to recommendations to dismiss two officers and give a written warning to a third.
All of the incidents were unrelated:
Former police sergeant Dale Iniff who had left the force before the July 27 hearing was found guilty of gross misconduct for actions in November and December 2020 in which after being arrested following criminal allegations against him he concealed his phone in a wall space behind a bookcase, provided investigators with an alternative phone and in breach of his bail conditions he met with another person at his home.
The disciplinary hearing decided he would have been sacked for the behaviour if he had not already left the force.
PC Jordan Logue was dismissed as a Northants Police officer after attending an incident which he had not been deployed to at which he drove at excessive speeds with his blue lights on, at times on the wrong side of the road. He hit a car during the incident in February last year which then caused damage to a church wall. After the event Logue then lied to colleagues about using the blue lights. In mitigation he said he had been having marital problems and mental health issues; the panel decided to dismiss him without notice when it met on July 20.
PC John Edmunds has been given a written warning for admitting misconduct by providing a false statement to a supervisor in December 2020. At the hearing on July 7 Edmunds admitted the misconduct allegation and the written warning will last for 18 months.
Last month NN Journal exclusively reported that complaints to Northants police have risen by a quarter according to most recent data. Since April, 16 complaints have been serious enough that they have had to be referred upwards to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
You can read our full report here
News in brief
The county’s fire service had attended almost double the number of daily incidents by 4.30pm yesterday, saying that 11 of the 22 call outs were heat related. It also said it had to move crews around 13 times to ensure there was still cover in case of a large scale incident.
Amid the current heatwave - expected to last until Sunday - it is asking residents to keep an eye out and report suspicious incidents after a spike in deliberate fires. Crews attended 18 deliberate fires last weekend (August 5-7) and yesterday afternoon said that number had increased to 51.
Andy Evans, Arson Reduction Officer for Northamptonshire’s Arson Task Force, said:
“We are seeing multiple fires being set across the county and we are spending hours attending these reckless incidents. Many of the fires we have already attended have been lit in open spaces, but there is a real risk that these could spread to urban areas and this could have horrific consequences.
“Eight fire engines were required at one single incident yesterday which meant we had to move appliances and resources around the county to keep other people safe. Resources are being stretched unnecessarily and these deliberate fires are potentially putting lives at risk.”
FireStoppers provides an anonymous way to report anything about deliberate fire setting. The fire service says reports of arson passed to FireStoppers will be investigated.
Call 0800 169 5558 or complete the online form at www.firestoppersreport.co.uk if you have any information about deliberate fire setting.
Former leader of South Northamptonshire Council Ian McCord has hit out at West Northants Council over its handling of controversial planning decisions in and around Towcester. NN Journal has previously reported on a campaign against a number of large warehouse developments in the area.
In June, WNC announced that it would hold a consultation to help shape new guidance for land allocated for employment development in the South of the county. In response, Cllr McCord has written to the local authority to say that the original Local Plan was clear that the employment sites identified were aimed at small to medium size units and questions why big companies thought it was acceptable to put forward plans for much bigger developments.
“WNC should have been very robust in telling them that this was not appropriate and put them off at an early stage…The applications and proposals for these sites that have subsequently come in bear no relation to spirit or letter of the policy as adopted and are trying to stretch it to breaking point. This is helped in no small part by an officer team who are willing to interpret the policy in the most lax and liberal way,” he wrote.
A former teacher accused of the murder of Nicholas Billingham will appear in court today ahead of her trial which is due to start in September.
Mr Billingham’s body was discovered in the garden of a property in Northampton in March shortly after Fiona Beal was arrested in Cumbria.
Unloved wall spaces across the Kingswood and Hazel leys estates in Corby are being transformed with four massive murals being made over the next few days. Takeaways, garage spaces and boxing clubs will be transformed as part of the initiative which will see local ideas brought to life with aerosol artwork overseen by arts specialists Graffwerk.
The street art has been commissioned by Creative Kingswood & Hazel Leys - a collaborative between local arts groups and Helen Willmott from Made with Many said:
“After much planning and consultation led by local residents, we are delighted to be making this project a reality with some of the best artists in the country as well as our local talent. These murals will be a positive addition to the estates and provide the opportunity for local residents to see world-class art on a daily basis.”
🎨A family arts workshop where you can create carnival headwear is happening on Wednesday from 110am to 4pm at the Beach in Market Square, Wellingborough town centre. The event is being run by arts organisation Made with Many and will be led by celebrated artist Emma Garafolo
🎉There will be a community festival in the Spring Boroughs area of Northampton on Saturday. Head down between 12 - 4pm for donkey rides, storytelling, circus skills, arts and crafts and more
🎈Funtopia is back at Delapre Abbey this weekend. There will be inflatables, Nerf wars, sumo suits, giant games and more Saturday and Sunday between 11am-5pm
🍻There’s a beer festival at Raunds cricket club all weekend
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