By Tom Potter
Friday, February 22, 2013
SUFFOLK’S police and crime commissioner has discussed plans for his first year in the job.
Tim Passmore spoke to members of the community in Leiston at his first public meeting since being elected to the position last November.
Attended by about 30 people and organised by county councillor Richard Smith, the meeting gave the public an opportunity to quiz Mr Passmore on his plans for securing efficient and effective policing of the county.
The former leader of Mid Suffolk District Council said he wanted to drive down crime and ensure Suffolk was one of the best performing constabularies.
Mr Passmore also discussed his reasons for choosing to freeze the precept used to fund policing and crime reduction, accepting instead a one-off Government grant equivalent to a 1% council tax increase.
After the meeting, he told The EADT: “We have an opportunity to look at how to do things more efficiently and effectively. The force is in a good state but there is always room for improvement.
“We will be undertaking a property review to make sure our buildings are appropriate for the service they provide. This is not about shutting police stations but a matter of making better use of what we have. We will also be looking at how to make better use of technology.”
Mr Passmore was asked about the proposed Sizewell C development and how policing would be managed during and after its construction. He told the meeting he would make assurances that the site and its surrounding towns and villages were well policed.
He shared a desire to recruit more special constables and emphasised the need to restore the public’s confidence in reporting all types of crime. He said: “The feedback I have received is invaluable. Meetings like this give the public a chance to speak directly to the one person who is accountable and give me the chance to show I have no narrow political agenda.”
Mr Passmore said he would be planning a series of similar events across the county.
Mr Smith, who represents Leiston on the county council, said: “It was obvious at the time of election that many people were uncertain about the role of a police and crime commissioner. This was a chance for Tim to explain his first months in the job.
“It was clear that he has worked very hard in a fairly short time. He answered questions on wide ranging subjects and did not mince his words. There was a general feeling that people understood his role and his plans going forward.”