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More people unsatisfied with performance of police in Suffolk, figures reveal

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Public satisfaction in Suffolk’s police has continued to fall – prompting calls for more focus on supporting victims of crime.

New Office for National Statistics (ONS) data for the last 12 months revealed that 57.2 per cent of the public agreed that police were doing a good job in Suffolk – below the 60.1 per cent national average and the 63.2 per cent average of the previous three years.

The percentage of people who believed that police dealt with community priorities dropped by 6.7 per cent, while the figures for fairness and confidence in the police also fell.

Police investigation. Stock photo (13539036)
Police investigation. Stock photo (13539036)

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said that the whole of the criminal justice system needed to recognise and support victims first and foremost for the public to have confidence in police.

“It is of a concern to me, of course it is, because we need to make sure we are really victim focused throughout the whole criminal justice system,” he said.

“I think sometimes the concerns are not necessarily down to the constabulary because other parts of the criminal justice system in my view are not sufficiently victim focused.”

Mr Passmore said he was “deeply concerned” that prosecutions were falling when crime was going up, and said the system needed to be “less risk averse”.

He added: “For each victim, their concerns are unique to them, and they are very, very concerned.

“To me, it doesn’t matter whether someone has had a window smashed or whether someone has been violently assaulted – to them it’s really important.”

Temporary assistant chief constable David Cutler said there was a “widening gap between public perception and the police ability to deliver”.

He pointed to measures to try and engage more with the media, publicise successes in bringing criminals to justice and using technology more, so police were not “wedded to personal visits” of victims.

Chief constable Steve Jupp added: “The fear of crime is something that’s really important.

“We are making strategic changes, we are putting greater emphasis on engagement with the victim, but we need to have a different debate.

“Historically, we made a lot of promises at the outset we were never going to deliver.

“Every victim is important to us so how we interact from a people point of view is really important.”