Inspector’s assurance over policing fears

AN inspector last night assured policing remains of the highest standard after fears were raised that officers were being drafted in from other areas to patrol a Suffolk town.

At their most recent meeting members of Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council said they were concerned after learning that personnel from Woodbridge and Halesworth were responding to incidents in the town.

They said they were worried about how this impacted on officers’ local knowledge.

It stems from the recent force reshuffle that has seen the 23 briefing centres reduced to nine, two of which are in Woodbridge and Halesworth.

From there officers are sent out across the county to respond to emergency calls.

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Inspector Nick Stonehouse, who is responsible for the Woodbridge, Leiston, Saxmundham, Aldeburgh and Framlingham safer neighbourhood teams, reassured members of the public that the quality of policing was not being effected.

He said any officers new to an area received help from the local safer neighbourhood team.

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“Although the patrol officers are no longer based at Leiston the safer neighbourhood team is still there, consisting of officers with local knowledge,” he said. “They have been helping by going out on patrol with some response officers to show them the area so they can familiarise themselves with different locations.”

Officers are also briefed on the key concerns facing local communities and patrols are directed to where they are needed, while most patrol cars are fitted with satellite navigation systems to guide officers to the correct locations.

Insp Stonehouse also said that it did not mean that there would be less police officers patrolling the streets in Woodbridge and Halesworth.

He said numbers had actually been boosted in these locations because of the centres.

“It will not effect the quality of service and will allow greater flexibility in the Suffolk Coastal area,” he said. “If any members of the public have any specific issues they should raise them so we can address them properly.”

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