‘Reckless in their actions’ - chief constable slams drink-drivers caught before Christmas
- Credit: Archant
In his latest column, Suffolk police chief constable STEVE JUPP talks about the force’s annual drink-drive campaign, a horrific assault on two police officers and, on a happier note, an award for a leading crime fighter.
As 2019 draws to a close, all of us no doubt will be reflecting on what the year has meant for us.
For me, in my first year as chief constable, it feels really positive. We have made a number of substantial changes, which I have previously referenced in my column, to the way in which we police our beautiful county.
We are now starting to see the benefits and I know that in 2020 this will only get better. We, in Suffolk Constabulary, are all committed and determined to make Suffolk an even safer place than it is now, and I am focussed on my mission to deliver the highest quality policing we can on your behalf.
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Naturally, at this time of year with people enjoying the festive spirit, one of our focusses is to keep our roads as safe as possible for all road-users.
This year, as well as using the drink and drug-drive campaign, we have worked with partners in the criminal justice system to bring those who put others at danger by driving over the legal limit before the courts within 24 hours.
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This is proving really successful and I believe sends a powerful message to those who are reckless in their actions. We continue to focus on those who drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and those that still continue to use their mobile phones whilst driving.
You may have seen a conviction last week for someone who received a 36-month custodial sentence for being on their phone whilst in charge of a vehicle. Your officers who have to deal with serious and fatal accidents on our roads will tell you of the impact, not just to those involved in the accident, but to the families and the life-changing effect it has on them.
I believe the only way we can eradicate such behaviours is by working together to ensure people do not drive whilst under the influence of drink or drugs, or are distracted in other ways from focussing on safe driving.
Assaults on police
You may also have recently seen the reported incident in the north of the county where two of your officers were seriously injured by a man who they were trying to arrest. He took it upon himself to spray a corrosive substance over the pair of them.
This is another example of what police officers can be confronted by on a daily basis and, in light of the recent London Bridge attacks, it shows how vigilant we all must be to work together to try to prevent violence in our society.
The officers have received excellent support and care from the NHS and from us, the Suffolk policing family. However, the impact of this attack goes much deeper than the physical scarring caused by the corrosive substance.
I know, particularly at this time of year, your thoughts will be with them and their long-term recovery from this horrific attack.
Award for top officer
On a happier note, it was great to see another example of how nationally officers from Suffolk are recognised for the quality of policing.
Sergeant Brian Calver received the WWF Wildlife Law Enforcer of the Year at the 31st Wildlife Enforcers Conference. Brian is part of our rural crime team and his passion and commitment to dealing with offenders who cause harm to the rural community including wildlife offences is second to none.
Now we have a new government, January, for us, begins with establishing what our budget is for the year ahead.
We will be welcoming 54 new officers into our family. We will be investing in the right technologies and training to ensure all your staff have the ability to deal with the plethora of crimes that are sadly within our society and county.
Although I mentioned it earlier, we are all dedicated and committed to keeping you safe, and each and every new recruit that joins us does so because they join the service committed to that mission.
I would like to thank you for the support that you give to all my/your officers. This means so much to them I can assure you.
At times I know you are, or will be, frustrated with what we do and it is right that you challenge me as your chief constable with your frustrations, but the individual support to staff helps them do a difficult job on a daily basis.
I wish you all a very merry and safe Christmas and a happy new year.