‘Stick to the guidance’ - Suffolk chief constable’s warning on coronavirus
- Credit: Archant
In his latest column, Suffolk chief constable Steve Jupp talks about the force’s work on coronavirus, ‘county lines’ drug dealing and hate crime, as well as some awards for brave officers.
Sadly, as we are all aware, the number of Covid-19 virus cases is rising across the country and, as a result, a new tier system has been introduced with appropriate measures to protect us all depending at what level of risk each area is in.
Currently, Suffolk is in Tier 1 with relatively low infection numbers. However, we are seeing figures rise in certain parts of the county and therefore we cannot be complacent.
I would urge us all to ensure that we continue to stick to the government guidance. If you are unsure of what this is, please look at the government website which clearly indicates what we need to do.
I want to assure you the constabulary continually monitors the situation together with our partners, and the systems and processes that we put in place at the outset of the pandemic which have worked so effectively to date are currently still the backbone of how we are delivering operational policing.
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This is really challenging, but my officers are responding admirably, and the constabulary still operates the 4 Es - Engage, Explain, Encourage, Enforce.
We are readying ourselves for the winter and the challenges this brings, and we are prepared to continue to serve you.
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As well as ensuring public safety in relation to the pandemic, the constabulary continues to deliver effective policing.
Recently, we conducted a week of action on county lines. This was in conjunction with others forces across the country, where we executed a number of search warrants and made some significant arrests.
We had organised dedicated patrols, we gathered intelligence and provided reassurance across the county to ensure the force continues to make Suffolk a hostile environment for criminals to operate in.
As part of the week of action officers made 11 arrests for a variety of offences including possession of class A drugs with intent to supply, possession of offensive weapons, and large quantities of cash and drug recovery.
County lines causes misery for communities and we will continue to put significant efforts into identifying and arresting those involved. We are determined to shine a spotlight on, and bring to justice, those running these toxic drug networks.
The National Hate Crime Awareness Week gave us an opportunity to raise awareness and understanding of what hate crime is, and to encourage victims to come forward.
Hate crime not only has a harmful effect on its victims by attacking who they are as individuals because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity, but also on their families and communities. It includes online and verbal abuse as well as physical assaults.
I would like to pay tribute to the eloquence with which our Suffolk Ethnic Police Association chair Mike Pereira highlighted in media the impact of the abuse our ethnic minority officers and staff sometimes face.
The week of action saw the constabulary continuing its partnership working with Community Safety Partnerships in Suffolk, Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care, Suffolk County Council, and Crimestoppers.
Congratulations to Det Con Thomas Farrell, who was recently awarded a Queen’s Policing Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Tom has made an immeasurable contribution to the safeguarding of children around the world - his development of technology to tackle the threat of online abuse has placed the UK at the forefront of the effort to target and arrest offenders intent on viewing indecent images of children and thereafter abusing children.
He has also done much work with the Home Office and is the perfect example of the expertise that we have here in Suffolk, which not only makes a difference here but around the world - making him extremely worthy of this fantastic recognition. I am so proud of the contribution he has made to policing.
It was also great to hear that two of my officers have been nominated for a National Police Bravery Award – Pc Jordan Tuck from Sudbury and Pc Peter French, from Stowmarket, showed bravery, tenacity and dynamic thinking when they dealt with a shotgun-wielding man in a terrifying domestic incident who had threatened to kill three children.
Both officers, fearing for their lives, were incredibly brave in getting children out of the house.
The Police Bravery Awards honour officers from the UK who have performed outstanding acts of bravery and I look forward to joining them at the finals next year.
Policing by its very nature is a courageous occupation and is recognised by all who serve as a policing family. We all felt deeply the loss of Sgt Matiu Ratana when he was tragically murdered on duty earlier this month.
It would also be remiss of me if I did not mention Pc Jon Harvey, who helped save a man’s life this year in an incident on the Orwell Bridge and has received a commendation from the Royal Humane Society.
I want to reassure you that whatever is happening through the pandemic, we are still here and always will be committed to doing the best we can to deal with all types of crime in order to catch criminals and bring the perpetrators to justice.
This is evidenced by the latest crime statistics, which show that the number of burglaries in Suffolk continues to come down.