New Suffolk police model forging closer links with communities

Suffolk Constabulary’s new police operating model goes live today, (Monday 4th December).

It aims to strengthen community links with the local public and to ensure the force continues to provide the best possible policing service for the public.

The changes to the community policing function is in response to the rising and changing demands that are presented to the service. It will enhance the way the Constabulary engages with local communities, responds to emergencies, investigates crime and deals with other incidents that cause the public to make contact.

The new County Policing Command (CPC) model will see three new component parts created – Community Policing Teams, Response Investigation Teams and a County Partnership and Prevention Hub.

The new Community Policing Teams replace the Safer Neighbourhood Teams and will see the creation of 50 new Community Policing Areas (CPA) across the county with a total of 80 Community Policing Officers (CPOs).

The officers will be delivering neighbourhood policing in each of the CPAs focusing on policing issues that matter most to those communities using effective partnership working and a problem-solving approach to reduce crime. The smaller geographical CPAs will allow increased focus and ensure the officers better understand public concerns in that area and target activity where it is most needed and, in an evidence-based way.

They will be supported in their role by Police Community Support Officers and the Special Constabulary and will have local ownership of their areas.

The Response Investigation Teams (RIT), previously the Neighbourhood Response Teams, will provide initial response to emergency and non-emergency incidents. It will also provide ongoing investigation to incidents such as criminal damage, property crime, drug related offences and missing people.

The third strand – the Community Partnership and Prevention Hub – will be responsible for participating in multi-agency work between the police and partners across the county to help prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. This could include local councils, health agencies, charities and third sector organisations. The Hub will co-ordinate the police response in key areas and concentrate on long term preventative solutions as well as overseeing a consistency of delivery across all the three geographical areas (South, West & East).

Chief Constable Rachel Kearton: “This new operating model allows us to use our finite resources in the most effective way and will ensure that our officers are where people need them to be, when they are needed most.

“All three of the new elements will have community engagement at the heart of what they do. The officers will be expected to tackle crime swiftly, problem solve and have an on-going dialogue with their communities. I expect all officers to demonstrate compassion, professionalism, courage and a sense of community in their daily delivery of this new model.

“Naturally, we will monitor and evaluate the new model on a regular basis over the next 12months to ensure it is delivering what we expect it to and that it is meeting the public’s requirements of a police service that is dedicated to forging even closer relationships with our communities.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Policing is an ever-evolving service. As demands increase and the pattern of crime changes, policing needs to be dynamic and change too.

“In all my public engagement, a theme repeated across the county is the need for better accessibility to the Constabulary; this new model is designed to addresses this.

“The three strands of the new model will improve response to emergencies, investigations, crime prevention and engagement with partners and the public.

“Community police officers will be embedded in their local area to understand community concerns and target activity where it is most needed. Communication and engagement with local residents and businesses will improve and, in turn, this will help increase public confidence and trust.

“The Chief Constable are I are united in our ambition to ensure Suffolk remains a safe place in which to live, work, travel and invest. I am confident this new model will help us achieve this ambition.”