Stowmarket: Questions raised over police work in public meeting

Suffolk's police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore

Suffolk's police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore - Credit: Archant

People have had the chance to question Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner in a public meeting over their issues and concerns.

More than 30 members of the public went to Cedars Hotel in Stowmarket to learn how Suffolk Constabulary is performing.

The force’s Chief Constable, Douglas Paxton, was also available with police and crime commissioner, Tim Passmore, to answer questions.

Speaking at the meeting Inspector Tristan Pepper said speeding in rural areas was a “huge concern” and a lot of officers’ time was spent enforcing the law. He said the force was also continuing to encourage communities to set up speedwatch groups.

But a woman from Pettaugh, near Debenham, said the village no longer had its speedwatch group.

She said: “We did go for the speedwatch group but we ran into problems – some are personal and some were complaints from outside the village.

“The A1120 is a major problem, the C-roads are really dangerous to be travelling on. There has not been any serious accidents but there could be. What can we do – the speedwatch group has not worked for us?”

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She said the village had looked at getting flashing speed signs but the cost was likely to be too high.

Mr Passmore said: “I’m a great supporter of community speedwatches - in the community helping themselves. But one of the problems with speedwatch groups is getting people to volunteer to do it – I know what you are talking about.”

He said an approach similar to campaigns on drink-drivers and people failing to wear a seatbelt were needed to get motorists to slow down.

Insp Pepper said: “I believe we have been in touch with the parish council in an attempt to get it going again. One of the best suggestions is to work with other villages so you take the personal element out of it.”

He said other options in such circumstances would be to use electronic signs which warn drivers of their speeds and to see if the Highways Agency could make any improvements to the road.

During the two-hour meeting a variety of concerns were raised including anti-social behaviour in Stowmarket town centre at night.

The public meeting is one of seven to be held in Suffolk with Mr Passmore and Mr Paxton. The next meeting will be held tonight in Sudbury Town Hall; on Monday Forest Heath’s will take place in the Memorial Hall in Newmarket. Ipswich’s meeting will be held in University Campus Suffolk on Tuesday, October, 22. All meetings will start at 6.30pm and are free to attend.