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Policing in Haverhill is benefitting from a 'good relationship' with the community

Haverhill's police inspector has praised the community for the 'key' role it is playing in ensuring that the town is a safe place in which to live.

Insp Kevin Horton told the Echo that officers are reaping the rewards of some positive community engagement work they have been able to do in recent weeks, particularly since the coronavirus lockdown began last month.

In many categories of crime, the number of incidents have fallen since the lockdown began, explained Insp Horton, who took over as the locality inspector for Haverhill and Sudbury in late February.

Kevin Horton, the Suffolk Police locality inspector for Sudbury and Haverhill. Picture by Mecha Morton
Kevin Horton, the Suffolk Police locality inspector for Sudbury and Haverhill. Picture by Mecha Morton

Shoplifting has dropped due to most shops being shut, while house burglaries has declined as so many people are at home and the crime issues connected to the nighttime economy have also ceased with pubs, clubs and restaurants being closed.

Also, no fines have yet been issued to anyone flouting the social gathering laws connected to the lockdown and there has not been the "huge spike" in incidents of domesticthat had perhaps been anticipated

On the flipside of this, said Insp Horton, more non-dwelling burglaries have been committed.

In the past fortnight Boots, My Screen Monkey and the EE Shop - all in the town centre - have, for example, been broken into.

However, Insp Horton added: "What we are noting is that we have still got that core of people who won't obey the rules anyway, particularly around drug dealing and drug users.

"We are getting more correspondence and calls about these things plus we do have more time available so we are able to be more proactive in doing more patrols in certain areas.

"Officers are going out with bikes and getting around in the rural areas."

In the past couple of weeks, added Insp Horton, officers have conducted a successful drugs warrant, seized vehicles, found over 40 items, believed to have been stolen, in a garage and carried out more stop checks on individuals suspected of criminal activity.

He said: "Working with the community has been key. A lot of this is coming from the community so we are responding to their issues and troubles.

"There has been that real engagement with the community. I think it really has raised and highlighted some of the positive work we are doing.

"The message is that the police are still out and about doing police work and being proactive. We are not just shut away in police stations."