Suffolk: Blueprint for county’s policing unveiled
PUBLISHED: 10:28 18 January 2013 | UPDATED: 10:28 18 January 2013
SUFFOLK’S first Police and Crime Commissioner today unveiled his blueprint for policing the county.
Among the pillars on which Tim Passmore’s vision is based are ensuring emergency response times are met, improving detection rates, reducing anti-social behaviour, and caring for victims and the vulnerable.
Mr Passmore – who was elected in November – is also pledging to keep to his campaign promise of not raising the precept the constabulary receives from Suffolk’s council tax.
However, he acknowledged this will have an impact on a force which has already had to make cuts of £14million, with further substantial savings to come.
Mr Passmore said his four overarching objectives are set against a backdrop of falling crime in the county, despite the cutbacks.
According to constabulary figures there were 4,330 (12%) fewer offences reported to Suffolk police between April and December last year, compared to the same period in 2011. The drop has resulted in the lowest level of offences for a decade.
The mainstay of Mr Passmore’s police and crime plan is to make Suffolk a safer place to live, work, travel and invest.
The force is committing itself to get to at least nine out of ten emergency incidents within 15 minutes in urban environment, and 20 minutes in rural ones.
It will give priority to detecting more offences, particularly sexual assaults, burglaries, robberies and serious violent attacks.
In order to help achieve this, additional manpower will be deployed in specialist teams tackling burglaries and sex offences.
Solving the problems caused by drugs and alcohol will also be high on the agenda.
Victims of anti-social behaviour are to be given more say on the punishment of perpetrators, under a new Community Remedy measure.
Suffolk Constabulary will also look at introducing a police apprenticeship scheme for young people, as well as more police cadet schemes
This dovetails with Mr Passmore’s acknowledgment that confidence in criminal justice system among victims needs to be higher.
On the roads speed enforcement, particularly the community speedwatch scheme, will continue in a bid to reduce accidents and keep Suffolk’s main travel arteries flowing for businesses. The plan makes no direct reference to static speed cameras.
Ways in which waterways can be policed more effectively will also be investigated.
Much of the overall strategy will go hand-in-glove with the work of the 29 safer neighbourhood teams in the county.
Mr Passmore said: “I believe that we all have a part to play in making Suffolk a safe, vibrant and thriving community where people want to live, work, travel and invest. To achieve this we must provide a police service that is responsive, visible, and accessible to all our communities, and treats everyone with fairness and respect.
“I believe that neighbourhood policing is the cornerstone of policing, and I will ensure that our Safer Neighbourhood teams are preserved in Suffolk, and remain accessible in the heart of our communities.”