Eastern area police commander on her return to area
- Credit: Archant
A new superintendent has taken charge of policing across the east Suffolk area – with the vow of continuing to 'deal robustly' with criminals.
As eastern area commander – covering Waveney – Supt Tonya Antonis said it was 'a real privilege' to have returned to the area after she began her policing career in Leiston in 1996.
Having started her new role last month, she insisted the force would keep the pressure on persistent burglars who bring misery to their victims, while policing priority areas 'remain the same.'
Supt Antonis said: 'My message to the community is that east Suffolk is a really safe place to be. I want the public to be reassured that does not change – we won't take our eyes off the ball. We have got a very well established team here in the east. The majority of them are local, they live in the area, work here and are passionate about protecting their community.
'The local knowledge they have is so valuable. While I am here, the Suffolk Police and Crime Plan priorities remain the same. It was very safe when I started in Leiston and it still feels like that now, even though crime types have changed.'
According to the latest safer neighbourhood team statistics for the Lowestoft area, there were 1,433 incidents in January – which was down from 1,558 incidents in December.
Supt Antonis said: 'I do see this as a real privilege to be here as the eastern area commander. We work closely with our partners and one of my priorities is to build on these relationships and continue all the great work that Jen Powell did before me.'
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Anti-social behaviour, burglaries and proactive work to tackle the supply of drugs remain key 'challenges.'
Supt Antonis said: 'In Lowestoft, the team has a good handle on it – they are very proactive and we'll continue to deal robustly with those responsible. But if you do see something a bit suspicious, out of place in your area, do report anything to us via 101 or if its an emergency call 999 immediately.'
After Supt Antonis started her policing career with Suffolk Constabulary in Leiston in 1996, she then moved to Ipswich to carry out frontline patrols.
This soon led to a move to the child abuse investigation team, before numerous safeguarding roles followed as a dedicated detective inspector overseeing child abuse incidents and then with the Gemini team, for rape investigations.
She was then promoted to become chief inspector at west Suffolk, before being made DCI for the county – which included time in the eastern area for part of that role.
In 2015, Supt Antonis was involved in setting up a new unit aimed at cracking down on criminals who use the Internet to target victims in Norfolk and Suffolk.
The joint Norfolk and Suffolk Cyber Crime Unit launched in Halesworth to combat the rising number of cyber and cyber enabled crime in the two counties.
Reflecting on her career, Supt Antonis said: 'Policing in general has changed dramatically since I became an officer. With cyber crime, mobile technology and the emergence of organised crime it has meant that the types of crimes you deal with and investigate has changed.
'The picture now is vastly different – it's a huge challenge, but with dedicated police teams and units it presents opportunities to do things differently and get the resources in the right areas.'
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