‘Demand on force is growing, but we must maintain proactive policing’

The launch of Operation Sentinel in Suffolk Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The launch of Operation Sentinel in Suffolk Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

In his latest column, Suffolk’s Chief Constable Stephen Jupp says it is vital the force is still able to conduct proactive policing

Since my last article we have officially launched our Operation Sentinel teams. I don't wish to repeat the previous reporting in relation to this, however, I wanted to reiterate the importance of having a dedicated proactive capability within Suffolk Constabulary.

This month saw the publication of the annual State of Policing Assessment by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service.

Sir Tom Winsor raises in his report how the demand on the police service continues to grow. It is important, therefore, that while we continue to try to manage that demand effectively, we remain focussed on keeping you safe.

So what does proactivity really mean? For me, it means we remain on the front foot to be able to effectively deal with criminals who wish to cause so much misery within our communities.

The team is tasked through intelligence-led operations to deal with not only those criminals that come into our county, but equally those who reside here too. Their focus will remain purely on catching and convicting criminals and to date they have already made 50 arrests.

As your Chief Constable, it is important to me that all your officers have the ability to be as proactive as possible.

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To that end we have started a programme of work on creating capacity within the Constabulary to ensure we stay focused on our mission of keeping you safe, catching and convicting criminals, and supporting victims.

This work will be both internally and externally focussed, looking at how we work with partners and communities, and ensuring we use technology as effectively as possible.

As I just mentioned, supporting victims and ensuring that their needs are recognised and supported is one of our primary roles.

This week I went to meet the team at the SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre). In early 2011 Suffolk Police and the NHS opened the SARC to provide advice and support to victims of sexual assault.

The dedicated and passionate team are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year whether victims choose to report to the police or not, and in the last 12 months have supported over 425 victims. Victims' wellbeing is at the very centre of what they do.

In 2015 a specialist child service was added with separate dedicated facilities tailored to meet the needs of children and young people. Whilst the building and facilities are important, it is the people who make the SARC what it is.

The support they provide and their non-judgemental approach to ensuring every person who attends gets the highest quality service is second to none.

Earlier this month I was proud to be part of the launch of the "Young People's Perceptions or Provision and Opportunities in Suffolk", an event hosted by Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. The academic research that was commissioned makes a fascinating read and you can access that report via the University of Suffolk's website.

Recognising the challenges that our younger generations face and ensuring that we work with them to keep them safe from the demands of this modern world is really important to me. The work undertaken by the youth workers who I met at that event is truly inspiring, particularly at a time when they have had to deal with cutbacks.

The challenges that the young people at this event articulated are not those that I recognise growing up, and I think, therefore, in a county as beautiful as ours, we all need to be mindful of how we can recognise and support the younger generation to ensure our values of a Suffolk society are sustained. Friday, July 5, saw me conducting the passing out parade of our first intake of 2019 - 15 fantastic young new officers whose enthusiasm for taking on the exciting role of policing was lovely to see. Although we are a small force we always try to innovate in ways that usually only large forces can do. A good example is the direct entry detective scheme which is currently open.

This is now the second time that we have done this. The recruitment lines are open for this scheme, and also remain open for regular police officer recruitment, so any budding Sherlocks out there please take a look at the Suffolk Constabulary website where there is a lot of information.

Finally, whilst talking of the internet, on Monday, July 29 between 6pm and 8pm, the Police & Crime Commissioner and I are hosting an external webchat where you are welcome to contact us and ask any questions or let us know of any issues causing you concern.

The webchat will be hosted on the Suffolk Constabulary website. All you need to do to take part is to click on to the site between 6pm and 8pm.

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