Demand on police to rise during summer coronavirus ‘recovery’ phase

Face masks will soon be mandatory in shops Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Face masks will soon be mandatory in shops Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

In his latest column, Suffolk Constabulary chief constable Steve Jupp writes about how the force aims to protect people during what is expected to be a busy summer.

Suffolk police chief constable Steve Jupp Picture: LAUREN DE BOISE

Suffolk police chief constable Steve Jupp Picture: LAUREN DE BOISE - Credit: LAUREN DE BOISE

This year, we are already seeing increasing numbers of visitors coming into Suffolk.

Indeed, speaking to many of my staff, ‘staycation’ seems to be the way they have planned their holidays - with many actually holidaying in Suffolk itself.

Every year, we plan extensively to ensure that we can police this increased demand and this year has been no different - but with the obvious change in dynamics.

I want to assure you that, as throughout the pandemic, we will be here in support of you, our communities and the business community.

Suffolk police chief constable Steve Jupp. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Suffolk police chief constable Steve Jupp. Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Rachel Edge

Local policing areas have developed their own summer plans focusing on placing resources into particular ‘hot-spot’ areas.

Policing will focus on engagement and prevention, and supporting local businesses (especially licensed premises) to help support the re-opening of venues in an informed and responsible manner that allows people to enjoy themselves, whilst maintaining social distancing.

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I can assure you that resourcing is sufficient to meet anticipated demand, but this does remain under continual review.

We do anticipate demand on our resources to rise as relaxation of restrictions continues. It will be a team effort across Suffolk, involving collaborative working with partners and communities.

Of course, our plans have an overwhelming and continuing support from our Specials and volunteers, which we are all extremely grateful for.

I am also delighted to announce the launch of the Neighbourhood Crime Proactive Team which starts on July 27.

This is a team dedicated to tackling local crime and anti-social behaviour, and will be a visible policing resource in support of community-based problem-solving.

Response phase to recovery phase

As the lockdown restrictions continue to be eased, I wanted to update you that work is continuing to prepare for the move in Suffolk from the Response phase of Covid-19 to Recovery, although care is being taken to ensure we keep monitoring the current situation to avoid a second spike of the virus.

The #StickWithItSuffolk campaign incorporating social and digital media messaging, videos, magazine advertisements and radio advertising is helping to have a positive effect on people’s behaviour, according to the data we are seeing.

Work is ongoing by public health and other relevant partners to identify any major workplaces where there is a potential for a heightened risk of Covid-19.

You can be reassured that Suffolk Public Health is closely linked in with Public Health England and has access to the data to determine at an early stage if there are concerns about the Covid-19 infection rate rising to levels which would present issues to localised areas.

The Suffolk Covid-19 Coordination Centre is in operation and the Centre Duty Team meets three times a day to ensure it has systems in place, to respond to any surge in coronavirus.

As from July 24, you will be aware that it will be mandatory for all of us to wear a face covering when we are inside a retail premises.

We have a part to play in the enforcement of this and we will continue in the same vein as before - engaging, explaining and encouraging, and then enforcing as a last resort.

We have seen the high levels of adherence to government guidance in Suffolk and I do not anticipate that this will change with these new regulations.

Impact on young people

I, like you, am concerned around the impact on our economy of the pandemic but I am particularly concerned about the potential impact on young people in our county.

I am in discussions with the High Sheriff, Bridget McIntyre, and Dr Nikos Savvas, principal and chief executive of West Suffolk College, to see how we can work together to support our young people and their futures.

We have just appointed three interns, who will be working on some key projects for the constabulary over the summer months. We will be continuing to recruit police officers and I would encourage anyone interested in joining a very fulfilling career in the police service to look at our website for further information.

Suffolk always comes together, and further good examples are Suffolk Community Foundation’s work with the “Rebuilding Local Lives” campaign and the amazing donation from Ed Sheeran, and also the “Don’t be a Tosser” BBC Radio Suffolk campaign which has just been relaunched to keep our towns and countryside clean and litter free.

I am delighted the constabulary is fully supporting both these initiatives.

Alongside supporting you through the pandemic, we are working really hard to keep crime out of our county and as low as possible.

There has been some fantastic proactive police work recently. One such example is the five people arrested earlier this month in connection with a series of burglaries in mid Suffolk.

Thank you for all your ongoing support and I hope you enjoy this summer safely and responsibly.

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