Suffolk will fight for its fair share of 'Boris bobbies'
PUBLISHED: 16:34 19 August 2019
Since my last column, there have been some major announcements from government in relation to policing but equally to the wider criminal justice picture. I thought it was important that I share with you from a Suffolk perspective what I know and what the way forward looks like.
You will probably have seen the pledge in relation to an extra 20,000 police officers within the next three years. Comprehensive plans are under way through a national Policing Board, which has been established for the first time ever and which is chaired by the home secretary, to ensure that all the issues surrounding this recruitment are thought through and dealt with.
I have been participating in a weekly telephone conference call with other chief constables to remain engaged in the activities. I am anticipating that within the next few weeks the home secretary will be in a position to make some concrete announcements as to what and when this uplift will look like.
I want to reassure you that I, along with the police and crime commissioner, will do everything we can to ensure Suffolk benefits proportionately.
I have previously encouraged people to join Suffolk Constabulary and, on the back of this announcement from government, I would reiterate what a fantastic career policing is.
In Suffolk I can say with conviction, having worked in four other forces, that we are a real family - a family that is focussed and dedicated in keeping the communities that we serve and live in as safe as possible.
I would encourage anyone that wants to consider such a worthwhile challenging career to look at our website where we will be posting further details of when we will be holding recruitment events.
However, if you are not looking to policing as a career but you wish to join our family and support your communities in other ways, there are many opportunities including the Special Constabulary and Police Support Volunteers.
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Believe me, I cannot emphasise enough the benefits that you will receive should you make the decision to join us.
As well as working with the Home Office, it has been great to see Suffolk MPs participate in "give a day to policing" this summer.
A number of our MPs are taking part in this national event. This will help them to better understand the challenges we face in dealing with complex issues such as violent crime and how important we value working with partners across agencies to tackle them and prevent them from happening in the future.
With Latitude now over and the Ed Sheeran concerts shortly upon us it has been a busy period of planning and preparation, working with the event organisers to ensure that everyone attending has the best possible experience.
Having seen the policing operation in place at Latitude, it was a real joy to see such a fantastic family event, with music, comedy and art bringing everyone together.
It reminded me of the importance of non-visible policing to enable such events to take place. Now the football season has begun again your officers helped ensure a great day out for all those spectators enjoying Saturday's first home match at Portman Road.
I have attended a number of public events recently and have more scheduled over the coming weeks. It is very beneficial and rewarding to listen to you, your thoughts on policing, the issues that you may face in your community, and your thoughts on how we can serve you. Again, please look at our website for details if you would like to come and talk to me.
Finally, I had the privilege to attend the national Police Bravery Awards last month.
Listening to the stories of colleagues from around the country who did some amazing things on what, when they arrived for work, was supposed to be an ordinary day.
Indeed Detective Constable Joanne Smith won our regional award for tackling a group of armed robbers whilst off duty. The humility displayed by Jo and all those who won awards demonstrates the very best values and qualities that we are lucky to have in British policing.