'2020 has made me even prouder to be a Suffolk police officer,' says chief constable Steve Jupp
As 2020 draws to a close for all of us no doubt we begin to reflect on the past year, which has obviously been like no other.
It has been a difficult year for us all, but there are positives for us to reflect on, especially how my officers and staff have worked so hard during the Covid19 pandemic, helping to keep our communities safe.
Many colleagues have had to adapt to work from home, and frontline officers and staff have worked hard with ever-changing laws and guidance.
The coronavirus restrictions have impacted heavily on all of us, and my staff have had to enforce the rules whilst continuing to do their daily role.
With so many challenging situations, as an organisation we have come together in a way that none of us would have ever imagined.
I have witnessed an extraordinary amount of spirit, courage and togetherness from not only those within the constabulary, but many within our communities. I firmly believe our togetherness has resulted in the county of Suffolk having one of the lowest infection rates in the county during the last nine months, although there are serious concerns at the present time.
I continue to receive numerous emails and letters from members of the public saying how happy they have been with the way the constabulary has responded to the pandemic.
This level of support means a lot to me and my staff, and is a testament to all of my colleagues during this difficult year.
I have never been so proud to be a police officer, and most importantly a Suffolk police officer.
With last week’s announcement that Suffolk will remain in Tier 2, it is vitally important we continue to stand together and remain vigilant and strong.
Each and every one of us must understand and follow the guidance.
The vaccination programme has commenced and we are working closely with Public Health England to assess security, we have patrol plans in place, and the sites will receive regular reassurance from police.
We will continue to apply the 4E’s approach (Engage, Explain, Encourage, Enforce), and on average we are receiving 120 items of intelligence from the public or partners regarding breaches of Covid-19 legislation per week. Breach of gatherings accounts for approximately 40 per cent of these.
In the words of Robert Peel, 'the police are the public and the public are the police'. We must continue to work together like this in 2021.
Whilst we find ourselves in a strange festive period, and approaching the end of the year, we have continued to focus our attention on local priorities and working with partners.
Across west Suffolk, officers have embedded a new initiative where officers proactively undertake operations which relate to local priorities outside of normal activities.
This has generated some real positive results. In Bury St Edmunds officers have been working with the British Transport Police to target offenders of pedal cycle thefts who use the rail network to travel between towns, and work is also continuing to reduce street drinking in the town.
In Stowmarket some positive work has been undertaken to deal with vehicle related anti-social behaviour, supported by the Roads & Armed Policing Team, to deal with an ever-increasing issue across the county.
Similar work has taken place in Sudbury and the surrounding villages where modified exhausts were targeted following reports of late night noise. Patrols were undertaken alongside speeding checks, a common complaint in the rural towns and villages.
In Haverhill work has continued to target those looking to deal drugs in the town and following some successful warrants, officers were on hand to offer support to nearby residents.
This demonstrates that even during lockdown criminals remain active and this was a similar story in Mildenhall where officers were able to catch a male with a significant amount of drugs on him.
So, going into my third year as chief constable, I want to reiterate that we in Suffolk Constabulary are all committed and determined to make Suffolk an even safer place than it is now, and I am focussed on my mission to deliver the highest quality policing we can on your behalf.
Finally, again I would like to thank you for the support you give to the constabulary. No doubt many of us will experience a different festive season this year, but I do wish each and every one of you a very merry and safe Christmas, and a happy new year.