Police force 'must keep pace', says chief

BMW i3 police car

Suffolk police has bought a marked up BMW i3 with fully functional emergency lighting, siren, communications and police equipment - Credit: Suffolk Constabulary

I welcome the Police and Crime Commissioner’s decision to increase the policing element of the precept, but also recognise the additional financial impact on household budgets.  

Suffolk Constabulary is one of the lowest funded forces in the country and this investment is absolutely essential to ensuring the force is able to continue to deal with modern-day policing challenges.  

The constabulary has worked very hard to ensure previous precept investments have been used wisely and are making a real difference across the county.

Last year’s extra money has been very well utilised, and the increased focus on organised crime groups, county lines and illegal drug use has produced some fantastic results.  

Suffolk is continuing to grow and develop and we must keep pace to ensure the Constabulary is equipped to deal with new emerging challenges that meets the needs of all our communities.

The constabulary needs to continue to focus on improving investigations, protecting vulnerable people and provide better public contact and communications.

This investment is essential to ensure we continue to deliver a high-quality service, catch criminals and keep the public safe.

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We therefore believe that our plans for the precept will address  some of the concerns that are raised with us such as making it easier to contact police, boosting investigation capability, providing more resources for tackling serious and organised crime, and providing additional support for vulnerable people.

Work will now begin to ensure the additional police officers and staff are recruited quickly and well, and will be supported by regular communications so that you can see how your money is being spent.  

Together with the national uplift programme which enabled Suffolk Constabulary to recruit an additional 54 officers in 2020/21 and a similar number in 2021/22,  the increase in the precept  means that the force can open our recruitment lines again with an ambition to bring in a diverse workforce of confident professionals to make a real difference across Suffolk. 

So, I am delighted to update you that our recruitment lines have opened again today.

We are committed to increasing the diversity of our workforce, to be more representative of the community we serve. 

We recognise the importance and value a truly inclusive workforce brings in meeting the challenges of policing today and into the future.  We continue to work with local education establishments and community groups to promote the work of the constabulary, encouraging applications from underrepresented groups.  

Our Positive Action team offer support and advice around the recruitment process and I urge you to go on to the constabulary website www.suffolk.police.uk and contact us if you are interested in joining.

Having been a police officer since 1986 there are only a few other such rewarding occupations, I believe.  If your personal motivation is to support and help others, to enjoy working in a team based environment where every day you will confront a different challenge, then policing really is a role for you.

What other career could offer you such a diversification of roles, from being a front line response officer, a community engagement officer, a detective, or working in an armed response team, to name but a few. Suffolk is truly a family force and we set ourselves high standards, and are seeking outstanding, highly motivated individuals to join us. You will receive first class training and the most warmest of welcomes.  

Suffolk Constabulary has taken its first steps towards having pure electric police vehicles to prepare the force for the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030.  

Work is underway to assess what parts of the force’s fleet can be replaced by electric vehicles (both marked and unmarked police cars and vans) with ‘ zero emission’ labelling.  Good progress has been made to assess the costs, suitability, load capacity  and maintenance of electric vehicles and site surveys are underway regarding charging points.

The force has bought a fully marked up BMW i3 with fully functional emergency lighting, siren, communications and police equipment which is in use and being evaluated across Suffolk.

This will form part of a business case that considers the makes and models of electric vehicles that best suit the many and varied roles they will be used for. The move towards having more electric vehicles reflects the constabulary’s commitment to ensuring the force operates in a way that is as responsible and sustainable as possible.