Police chief praises officer who saved baby's life

Pc Billy Turner and Sgt Jamie Vincent from Suffolk Constabulary at Sudbury police station

Pc Billy Turner and Sgt Jamie Vincent at Sudbury police station - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

I’d like to start by thanking all those who took part in the online webchat last week where the Police & Crime Commissioner and I answered questions from members of the public.

We received many interesting questions and comments covering a large range of topics. You can find these on our website.

Listening and talking with you is really important to me so I can understand your issues. I look forward to hopefully getting back to public engagement meetings in 2022, but we will plan another online event as this is very accessible to everyone.

As community infection rates increase and Suffolk becomes an Enhanced Response Area (ERA), the force continues to operate effectively.

Sickness rates have increased, with more and more of our staff seemingly infected through familial links but, thankfully to date, no one has been seriously affected.

We continue to operate in a ‘Covid secure’ way, retaining social distancing measures, wearing masks when in communal areas or when double crewed and continuing with agile working where role allows.

The constabulary role has evolved and flexed considerably since the start of the pandemic in 2020 and whilst there is now very little legislation for us to enforce, we continue to support colleagues in partner agencies through representation at the Local Outbreak Engagement Board and the Strategic Coordinating Groups.

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My teams are offering support to NHS colleagues at vaccination sites and will continue to do so as the roll out of the vaccine and boosters continue.

We have thankfully seen very few instances of anti-vaccination activity across Suffolk, but we will continue to work with our partners and colleagues to respond positively and just ask people to report any such activity to us should they become aware of anything.

With the festive season soon upon us, the Constabulary’s focus this year will be on our violence against women and girls response to the night time economy and our hotspots for violence and sexual crimes.

We want everyone to be able to enjoy Christmas safely, particularly those who are vulnerable. We will not tolerate alcohol or drug fuelled anti-social behaviour or criminality.

We will be taking a partnership approach, ensuring we work with partners and businesses to allow for proactive information sharing which will support our deployment plans and engagement activities.

We want our licenced premises to feel supported in helping them to keep their customers safe, and we will use CCTV opportunities to proactively resolve incidents and support the deployment officers on the streets.

Additional officers will be patrolling our hotspots during key times to ensure we remain visible, providing reassurance and connectivity to our communities. I can assure that you my officers will be making best use of ancillary powers to proactively deter criminal behaviour and protect vulnerable people.

It was great to see so many people out across the county commemorating Remembrance Day. Myself and a number of my fellow Chief Officers attended those events and laid wreaths as well as conducting a smaller parade at police headquarters.

Another proud moment for me recently was where one of my officers attended an emergency call from a family in Long Melford where a baby was reported to not be breathing.

PC Billy Turner administered first aid, performing CPR for over five minutes, successfully regaining a pulse and saving the baby’s life. This is absolutely fantastic news and brilliant work – you may have already read this story in the media but I wanted to pass on my personal thanks to Billy, and best wishes to the family concerned.

I’m so proud that Suffolk Constabulary has played its part in supporting the national policing response for COP26 in Glasgow by providing a contingent of officers to assist with the large-scale security operation.

Our officers were involved in a number of roles including searching, patrolling and security type functions. The deployment is part of our commitment to nationally agreed protocols of mutual aid where forces can assist each other in the policing of major events or during times of need.

Our previous experience of providing mutual aid assistance, most recently to the G7 Summit in Cornwall earlier this year, means we understand the impact such deployments can have.

Consequently, we had planned for COP26 for some time, continuously reviewing requests and the impact of this locally, making sure we had sufficient resources available at all times in order to police Suffolk.

The Chancellor announced his autumn budget and three-year spending review on 27 October 2021. This set spending budgets for government departments to 2024-25.

Key to policing was the announcement of funding for the third and final year of the government’s police officer uplift programme. This will support the force in continuing to recruit additional police officers in 2022-23 and to keeping Suffolk safe.

We expect to receive our funding settlement in December. This will enable us to build our detailed financial plans for next year and the following three years.