Top Suffolk cops swap jobs

TWO of Suffolk's leading police officers have marked the New Year by swapping jobs.

Laurence Cawley

TWO of Suffolk's leading police officers have marked the New Year by swapping jobs.

Chief Inspector Mike Bacon is stepping down as District Commander for west Suffolk after three years in the post to take on the job of policing the county's roads. He will be replaced by Chief Inspector Martin Barnes-Smith, the current head of road policing in the county.

Ch Insp Barnes-Smith joined the police in 1982, moving to Suffolk from London in 1984. He has lived in the Bury St Edmunds area since then.

He said: “Being in the town for over 20 years I feel I am very much part of the community of west Suffolk. I am taking over a high performing district and will work hard to keep it that way.

“I believe that everybody, whether they live, work or are just visiting the area, should be allowed to go about their day to day business without it being spoiled by the minority intent on committing crime or anti-social behaviour.

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“I will look to continue work with all the partners, from professionals to volunteers to make this possible. I see the good foundations laid by the safer neighbourhood teams of St Edmundsbury helping in taking this forward, and those officers who respond to emergency incidents and provide support to these teams will also have a large part to play.

“I look forward to taking up my post and meeting the people of west Suffolk.”

Ch Insp Bacon said: “I have been District Commander for three years and I have thoroughly enjoyed my role, and am proud of the excellent work that has been achieved by St Edmundsbury staff.

“This includes detecting nearly 40% of all crime reported this year, the highest detection rate in the force, and a reduction in total crime since 2006/2007 of 16.3%.

“The safer neighbourhood teams are now firmly established and are tackling local issues within their communities. I am particularly pleased with the productive partnership working that has taken place with St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Havebury Housing, local councillors and residents. I am looking forward to my new role and wish Ch Insp Barnes-Smith the best of luck at St Edmundsbury.”

Suffolk police has also announced it has appointed Supt David Skevington as the west Suffolk operations manager. He moves from the Serious and Organised Crime Directorate at the force headquarters, and replaces Supt Jon Brighton, who takes on the role of intelligence gathering and development at the force's HQ in Martlesham.