A Suffolk MP has described his experience joining police officers on their patrol on a busy Friday night in the run up to Christmas.

The Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter joined officers from Suffolk Constabulary overnight to see first-hand the challenges faced here in Suffolk in the run up to Christmas.

Knowing all too well the additional pressures faced by our emergency services in the run-up to the festive period, Dr Poulter was keen to show his support for the Police in Suffolk by shadowing them during an overnight shift.

Joining them for a Friday night shift 10 days before Christmas offered the perfect opportunity for Dr Poulter to witness first-hand the types of anti-social behaviour and the varied and challenging situations faced by Suffolk police.

Dr Poulter also spent time with the team of officers back at headquarters, where he learned more about the co-ordinated responses required with partner agencies, including the ambulance service, social services and mental health trust.

Speaking about his shift with Suffolk police, Dr Dan Poulter said “As someone who understands what it’s like to work over Christmas and who also works on the frontline, albeit in the NHS, I am incredibly keen to support our police and emergency services as best I can.

"In the run-up to the busy Christmas period, it was great to shadow our outstanding officers and to see for myself the challenges and situations that they face on a daily basis.”

“In dealing with a number of difficult and, at times, confrontational situations, I was thoroughly impressed at the professionalism, skill and diplomacy shown by the officers.

"Our police force work hard throughout the year to keep us safe from harm and I would like to put on record my thanks to them for all that they do – at Christmas and throughout the year.”