Top cop slams police bureaucracy

AN OUTGOING Suffolk police chief retiring after 33 years of service has hit out at an increasing mountain of bureaucracy which he says is removing dedicated officers from their duties.

AN OUTGOING Suffolk police chief retiring after 33 years of service has hit out at an increasing mountain of bureaucracy which he says is removing dedicated officers from their duties.

Chief Superintendent Mick Green said last night the juggling act between completing time-consuming paperwork and meeting demanding targets was becoming more and more difficult.

But he also paid tribute to the “fantastic” team he has led as area commander for West Suffolk over the past four years, while reflecting on changes, such as the development of forensic science and advances in technology, which have added to the police armoury in the fight against crime.

“When I was a young detective, we worked very hard but there was less accountability and certainly less paperwork,” said Mr Green, who is married to Dawn and has a 15-year-old daughter, Alicia.

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“Officers today are totally accountable and while I think that aspect is absolutely right, it has brought with it mountains of bureaucracy and forms to fill in.

“It is a great shame because it removes police officers from what they are supposed to do. It amazes me that they can achieve so much from the time they have available to actually investigate crime or conduct patrol work.

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“That is the biggest thing to improve. We are constantly pressured to put more officers on the beat and be more visible, accessible and provide a better service in terms of response to victims.

“I support all of that, but it is incredibly difficult when young officers also have to fill in forms all the time.”

Mr Green, who beat Hodgkin's Disease, cancer of the lymph glands, as a probationary constable aged just 20, was seconded to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food during the foot and mouth crisis as National Police Liaison Officer.

He counts this, as well as his involvement in the investigation into the murder of Christopher Nugent - a Mildenhall insurance broker who was the victim of a contract killing in 1987 - as his proudest memories.

“I went to Winchester Prison to interview the man who actually pulled the trigger, and the most fascinating aspect was what is going through the mind of a man who can accept a bundle of cash to take somebody's life in such a cold-blooded way,” added Mr Green.

“I was very involved and was awarded a commendation from the Chief Constable for what was a big inquiry for the force.”

Mr Green will leave the constabulary at the end of the month, but will remain involved with the force after taking up a civilian role of policing improvement manager, carrying out inspections and making subsequent recommendations.

“The job keeps me in the family that I love and have loved all this time, and will allow me to continue to see long-standing friends and colleagues. I hope it will be right up my street,” he added.

“It is a very strange situation when you have done this for 33 years and spend all this time wearing a uniform, and suddenly you are not a police officer any more.

“I will miss the involvement in operational aspects, the major crimes and, of course, the people. I have got some cracking staff, and I have been delighted to work with them. The quality of police officers is fantastic these days, and it has been my privilege to command them.

“But I have to look at it as a new chapter in my life and a new challenge.”

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