Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore has some good news to report

I have two items of good news for you this month. Firstly, the latest crime data for the year up to the end of September 2021 shows that overall crime figures are down in Suffolk.

The Office for National Statistics report shows our levels are considerably lower than the regional average – 63 crimes versus 82 crimes per thousand residents.

Nevertheless, there can be no room for complacency since for each crime there is a victim, and demands on the force are increasing as crime becomes more complex and patterns of crime change. The population is also expanding significantly. So, despite this very welcome news, it’s quite clear there remains a great deal to do to lower the threat from criminals.

Tim Passmore, Police Commissioner for Suffolk
Tim Passmore, Police Commissioner for Suffolk

The other good news is the confirmation of funding that Suffolk will receive to recruit additional officers as part of the national Operation Uplift. Our allocation of extra officers for the next financial year is 72, which means the overall benefit to our constabulary through the national Uplift programme over three years will be an additional 179 new police officers by March 2023.

When this is combined with the 45 new posts created from the additional policing precept of Council Tax income over the last couple of years it means Suffolk will have more than 1,400 fulltime officers by the end of March next year.

The expectation was that Suffolk’s allocation of new officers would be similar to last year (53), but I am sure we are all grateful there is such a large increase on the numbers originally indicated.

While all policing areas will receive extra officers, I’d like to reassure you during the first two years of Operation Uplift, 35 extra officers took up position in the west. We must be aware it takes considerable time to fully train officers but there can be no doubt we will benefit from increased engagement and visibility – something many of you continue to raise at public meetings and in your correspondence. But please be patient as results will not be instantaneous!

As the numbers and the accompanying funding for the next year has only recently been announced, I am unable to give specific detail on deployment. I am currently in discussion with the Chief Constable to develop a comprehensive deployment plan by the end of next month – there are, of course, plenty of competing pressures and requests.

This major recruitment programme sits neatly alongside the expansion of the Sentinel and Kestrel teams which help to combat high-harm criminal gangs and local criminality respectively. These dedicated teams have already proved their worth and achieved some outstanding results as demonstrated by the high level of arrests and charges being made. Their work has made a very strong contribution to reduce the threat from the County Lines drug trade. Many of these County Lines have been eliminated.

The recently agreed investment to transform our control room and improve public engagement is a key factor to fully support the increase in officer strength and maximise their efficiency and effectiveness. Many more staff and officers will be required for this transformation and this will be made possible through the increase to the policing precept for the next financial year.

An enhanced training regime will deliver Suffolk officers who are better trained than ever as they embark on their careers to cut crime and keep us all safe. I am really looking forward to welcoming these new entrants because I do believe this, along with the good work of the last few years and the exciting control room transformation programme, will stand the county in good stead to combat the crime challenges of the future – and make Suffolk even safer!

Lastly, I would ask all of you to help raise awareness that Suffolk Constabulary is looking for good people to join the force – staff and officers. Details are on the police website, please take a look to find out more.