Kestrel team making positive impact

A countywide team dedicated to tackle criminal threats and challenges that emerge in a particular local area is making a positive impact.

The Neighbourhood Crime Proactive team or ‘Kestrel’ team which was formed in August 2020, continues to play important role in supporting the force’s capability to dynamically deploy into a particular area for a period of time to target crime. The team supports community and local policing priorities and deal with serious criminality such as drug crime as well as anti-social behaviour.

The Kestrel team made up of one sergeant and six PCs is based at Eye and is a highly visible and uniformed team, deployable across the county to any location in support of local policing.

After just six months of operational activity the team has provided a significant point of contact for members of the public to engage with and provide intelligence that can be used for future operational activity and potential arrests.

The team have conducted 500 hours of foot patrols, located four missing people conducted 45 positive stop searches, made 36 arrests and seized nearly £8,000 worth of drugs. They have also made 78 safeguarding referrals to help support vulnerable people in the community.*
The funding for the seven strong Kestrel team has come from finance provided by Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner’s increase to the policing element of council tax precept for the financial year (2020/21).

Sgt Kelvin Wenden from the Kestrel team said: “These results demonstrate the positive impact the Kestrel team has already had in a relatively short period of time. It’s very satisfying team to be part of – we always get plenty of praise and appreciation from local residents and other people in the communities we work in.

“A big part of our role is the engagement element – speaking with locals, listening to their issues and then we use that intelligence to tackle those issues and make a positive difference. It’s a team that can make a big difference in a relatively short amount of time in terms of addressing ASB ‘hotspots’ or other criminality and we are very keen to continue with this approach in the months ahead.”

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner said: “The funding for the Kestrel team has come directly from the precept increase in this year’s budget. It is one of several additional resources made possible by the precept and I hope people will see that it really is making a difference.

“This team is able to swoop into areas where additional resource is required to deal with issues affecting communities, working alongside local policing teams. It is great to hear that local communities really appreciate their input and the results speak for themselves.

He added: “When I talk to local communities, Increased visibility and more foot patrols are often top of their wish-lists. With this in mind, and the proven success of the original Kestrel team, we are increasing this pro-active initiative. A second Kestrel team, dedicated to the west of the county, will be launched later this summer paid for by the increase in the 2021/22 precept.”

There are also plans for a Kestrel team to be introduced in the South later this year (covering the Ipswich area), meaning the current Kestrel team will focus on the eastern area of the county.

All figures cover August 2020 to early February 2021