Top cop is set to oversee CID for two forces

IPSWICH: One of the region’s top detectives is to become the police’s first head of crime for Suffolk and Norfolk.

Detective chief superintendent Stewart Gull will take up the post on April 4. In his new role, the 48-year-old will oversee all facets of CID for both counties.

At the top level, his wide-ranging remit will include murders, stranger rapes, kidnappings, drug trafficking, extortion and public protection.

Det Ch Supt Gull brings 30 years’ policing experience to the post and has been in charge of many high-profile investigations.

He is probably best known for catching serial killer Steve Wright in late 2006 after five sex workers were murdered in Ipswich.

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Det Ch Supt Gull became the public face of the investigation when he appeared before national and international media during many press conferences. As a result of his distinguished service, he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2009.

It is this level of experience that the former pupil of Copleston Secondary Modern and Clifford Road Primary School will bring to the position of head of crime.

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Det Ch Supt Gull said: “This is a joint role across both forces and is part of an ongoing collaboration with Norfolk in order to ensure we deliver as efficient and effective services as possible across the counties.

“I am really looking forward to the role. It’s going to be quite challenging, but it is a fantastic opportunity.

“One of the challenges, as with any different organisations, is there will be cultural issues to address and the need to ensure we are working to the same policies and procedures.”

Cynics might suggest the appointment of a joint crime overlord for both counties has been driven by the need for Norfolk Constabulary to save �25million from its budget and Suffolk Constabulary to make cutbacks of �13.5m.

Although acknowledging the need for savings, Det Ch Supt Gull said there was more to the decision to bring in the combined role, especially as technology and the internet have been instrumental in the growth of cross-border crime

He said: “This is not just about saving money. It’s about developing ways to work together.

“It operates like this in other parts of the country. Fundamentally, offenders do not recognise boundaries and neither should we. It is important that we don’t let boundaries get in the way of continuing to make Suffolk and Norfolk the safe places that they are now to live and work.

“There are also tremendous opportunities. Bringing this specialist command together will provide us with the opportunity to develop new best practice.”

n Will the appointment help to reduce crime? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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