‘We need to focus on public spiritedness’, says Suffolk police chief
- Credit: LAUREN DE BOISE
It was my privilege and pleasure to attend last Sunday’s Service of Remembrance in Lowestoft.
This year the sun was shining, which gave an added warmth to the event as I watched the veterans as well as current servicemen and women and young people take part in a very well-attended ceremony.
Colleagues also attended services around the county including in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Martlesham, Haverhill, Capel St Mary, Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe and Woodbridge. We also held our own Remembrance Service at police headquarters, led by Father Paul Bourner.
Remembering those who sacrificed so much is as important as focussing on the future, and the constabulary is currently developing a strategic action plan looking at how we can support all young people across the county.
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I attended the Police Public Bravery Awards recently where David Norris, a member of public, received a national award for intervening in an assault on a young person in Stowmarket.
That degree of courage should not be under-estimated. However, we do need to focus on the public spiritedness of how we should come together as a society as those comrades we have just remembered did to keep our values on the right path and our society as safe as possible.
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Stars of Suffolk
This month also saw the Stars of Suffolk awards ceremony, where we recognised outstanding members of our community who go the extra mile.
I was delighted that David Norris was the overall Star of Suffolk winner for his bravery, compassion and selflessness.
My personal congratulations also go to Pc Matt Kidd-Stanton, who won the Police Person of the Year, and Pcso Teresa England and Mick Rainbird, who were also finalists.
Whilst on the subject of awards, it was fantastic to see Suffolk Constabulary attending the World Class Policing Awards last week where we received two nominations for the work we do your behalf.
It is only right to recognise those who go above and beyond, but we should never forget the silent majority who work so hard on all our behalf.
In the last few weeks we have undertaken a number of major operations across the county tackling serious and organised crime in Ipswich, where various teams worked hard in the community targeting offences including modern day slavery, exploitation, county lines, drugs, violence and stolen goods.
There were a number of good results including 10 warrants executed, 18 arrests and 27 vehicles seized, as well as Operation Showdown, a cross-county operation aimed at keeping criminality off our roads.
Much preparation clearly goes into ensuring the success of these operations from a tactical point of view.
Always looking for improvement
It was great that Suffolk hosted the Problem Orientated Policing Conference last week where police colleagues and partners came together to discuss what works and how we can evolve in the future.
The day-long event provided a springboard for the force to continue to look for and use innovative ways of bringing about long-term solutions to crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.
As your chief constable I am determined that, although we are a small constabulary, we will constantly look to see how we can improve, take best practice from around the country and highlight to others the great work we do.
Recognising and highlighting our work is really important for me because it emboldens our workforce.
It underpins the passion and desire of public service and, at a time when we all recognise the demands on the police service, it helps keep us an organisation on the front foot and determined to achieve our mission of keeping you all safe.
I know I have previously mentioned the proactive capability we have developed by utilising the increase in precept which you supported us with earlier this year.
I am pleased to report that all three of our Sentinel teams are now operational. We have also welcomed into the Suffolk policing family 16 digital support officers and a digital support coordinator, who have just undergone their training alongside other colleagues from the constabulary.
This new capability will enhance our ability to fight and detect crime that is more and more moving into the digital space.
Finally, as we seem to be rapidly approaching Christmas, the constabulary will be present at a number of the civic services.
Whilst we are there to keep you safe, please take time if the opportunity arises to talk to your officers - interaction is really important to us, understanding your thoughts and feelings, but equally, as I said earlier, for us all to work together to be community spirited.