Suffolk Police chief constable Steve Jupp supports increase to council tax precept after force's hard work
Suffolk 's chief constable Steve Jupp, shares his thoughts on the decision to increase the police council tax precept and police recruitment lines reopening in his latest column for Suffolk News.
I welcome the Police and Crime Commissioner’s decision to increase the policing element of the precept, but also recognise the additional financial impact on household budgets.
Suffolk Constabulary is one of the lowest funded forces in the country and this investment is absolutely essential to ensuring the force is able to continue to deal with modern day policing challenges.
The constabulary has worked very hard to ensure previous precept investments have been used wisely and are making a real difference across the county.
Last year’s extra money has been very well utilised, and the increased focus on organised crime groups, county lines and illegal drug use has produced some fantastic results.
Suffolk is continuing to grow and develop and we must keep pace to ensure the constabulary is equipped to deal with new emerging challenges that meets the needs of all our communities.
The constabulary needs to continue to focus on improving investigations, protecting vulnerable people and provide better public contact and communications.
This investment is essential to ensure we continue to deliver a high-quality service, catch criminals and keep the public safe.
I therefore believe that our plans for the precept will address some of the concerns that are raised with us such as making it easier to contact police, boosting investigation capability, providing more resources for tackling serious and organised crime, and providing additional support for vulnerable people.
Work will now begin to ensure that the additional police officers and staff are recruited quickly and well and will be supported by regular communications so that you can see how your money is being spent.
Together with the national uplift programme which enabled Suffolk Constabulary to recruit an additional 54 officers in 2020/21 and a similar number in 2021/22, the increase in the precept means that the force can open our recruitment lines again with an ambition to bring in a diverse workforce of confident professionals to make a real difference across Suffolk.
So, I am delighted to update you that our recruitment lines have opened again today.
We are committed to increasing the diversity of our workforce, to be more representative of the community we serve.
We recognise the importance and value a truly inclusive workforce brings in meeting the challenges of policing today and into the future.
We continue to work with local education establishments and community groups to promote the work of the constabulary, encouraging applications from underrepresented groups.
Our Positive Action team offer support and advice around the recruitment process and I urge you to go on to the constabulary website www.suffolk.police.uk and contact us if you are interested in joining.
Having been a police officer since 1986 there are only a few other such rewarding occupations, I believe. If your personal motivation is to support and help others, to enjoy working in a team-based environment where every day you will confront a different challenge, then policing really is a role for you.
What other career could offer you such a diversification of roles, from being a frontline response officer, a community engagement officer, a detective, or working in an armed response team, to name but a few.
Suffolk is truly a family force and we set ourselves high standards, and are seeking outstanding, highly motivated individuals to join us. You will receive first class training and the most warmest of welcomes.
Suffolk Constabulary has taken its first steps towards having pure electric police vehicles to prepare the force for the end to the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030.
Work is under way to assess what parts of the force’s fleet can be replaced by electric vehicles (both marked and unmarked Police cars and vans) with ‘ zero emission’ labelling.
Good progress has been made to assess the costs, suitability, load capacity and maintenance of electric vehicles and site surveys are underway regarding charging points.
The force has bought a fully marked up BMW i3 with fully functional emergency lighting, siren, communications and police equipment which is in use and being evaluated across Suffolk.
This will form part of a business case that considers the makes and models of electric vehicles that best suit the many and varied roles they will be used for.
The move towards having more electric vehicles reflects the Constabulary’s commitment to ensuring the force operates in a way that is as responsible and sustainable as possible.
This month Operation Night Owl has seen our West Suffolk Policing Teams place a real focus on proactive policing, particularly in the hours of darkness.
This proactive operation, focussed in West Suffolk, is proactively addressing the issue of acquisitive criminality.
We are directing any spare capacity we have towards effectively targeting this type of criminality and our staff have been out there chasing down those who wish to cause our communities harm and use darkness as a cover for their criminality.
In the two weeks since we commenced this targeted activity, making use of some really good community-based intelligence, we have already seen some great results.
In Bury St Edmunds our officers arrested two males for a series of vehicle related offences and commercial burglary offences.
In Sudbury a male has been arrested and charged with nine thefts from motor vehicles that have occurred since Christmas.
Haverhill officers have arrested two people we believe are responsible for about 60 offences going back several months.
The Newmarket Safer Neighbourhood Team have worked closely with partners to secure a closure order at 20 St Anthony’s, Icewell Hill, Newmarket – a property that has been a centre of drug use and anti-social behaviour for several months, finally giving some respite to nearby residents.
Finally, in Stowmarket some recent proactive stops subsequently resulted in recovery of a quantity of drugs from a residential address.
Whilst this is going on we are continuing to actively targeting those who display a disregard for current Covid-19 restrictions, doing our bit to help our NHS and keep the community safe.