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Police cuts ‘fraught with danger’ and could raise fear and risk of crime in Felixstowe

11:00 28 January 2016

Community leaders have launched a campaign to keep a front line police response team based in Felixstowe amid worries that cuts could increase the risk of crime and public anxiety.

Town councillors say the proposal is “fraught with danger” and could impact on 999 response times.

Suffolk Constabulary plans to axe 68 PCSO posts, reduce civilian staff, remove some Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) and close police stations as part of a range of service changes to slash £20.5million from its budget by 2020.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore has denied the changes will have a significant impact on the public and said the review would bring a better distribution of the police’s workload with SNTs still at the core of the community.

At Felixstowe, the changes also include removal of the resort’s response team, which when not responding to 999 calls, investigates a crime and provides a visible presence around town.

Town councillors believe having the unit based in Martlesham will mean less time spent in Felixstowe.

They cite the need for officers to deal with paperwork, take part in training, intelligence submissions, the difficulties of vehicle handovers and ensuring staff are best used at shift overlaps, plus problems with officers missing through sickness, annual leave, and court appearances.

In a letter to Mr Passmore the council said the proposed changes “will result in a significant reduction in the visibility of local police staff” and it believed this “will increase both risk and public concern and thus reduce levels of trust and confidence”.

The council pointed out that a similar project to remove response staff some years ago failed and was reversed.

The letter said: “This new plan has many similarities but is in fact in the opinion of this council even more likely to fail.

“This council believes the removal of the response base in Felixstowe is fraught with danger. It will significantly reduce the proactive patrol capacity within the town, it will significantly reduce the visible police presence, it will negatively impact on people’s concerns and anxieties and it will raise the level of risk in respect of meeting response times.”

Councillor Steve Gallant, a former Felixstowe police chief, said: “My belief is that people are not going to feel safe because they are not seeing a uniformed presence around the town. If we have a response hub here in the town it will not cost the constabulary any extra money.”

12 comments

  • Yes, but, waspie's wife, back in your day, women also knew their place!

    Report this comment

    Fill-a-stein

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • Waspie's wife...I am seeing a trend of grown men and teenagers riding bikes on paths in Ipswich. Don't know if it's the same in Felixstowe. I get they want to miss traffic lights and go on paths, but then they they should get on their bikes and get on the road. Also i had a couple of skateboarding adults careering behind me the other week, alerted by noise. I had to stand aside, not so much as a nod and I did smile, as they went on their way. Got off crossed the lights and went on their way. Another time a young teen came whizzing past and almost touched me. If I had moved over he would have knocked me over. This wouldn't have happened in my day. Bomber Harris would have given them short shrift, taken them home and thy would have got another telling off from parents. Lets see some proper old fashioned policing please, for those of us who can remember more respectful times. The parking on junctions too. In my area it's dangerous. The trouble is so many get a way with it they don't know about the 15 yards parking away from junctions, because there is no one to enforce it, but lots of whizzing by

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Saturday, January 30, 2016

  • But I will be sure to remember what road they came from when they put me in a ambulance after getting knocked down, thanks for the help.

    Report this comment

    kev70

    Friday, January 29, 2016

  • what does becasue mean?

    Report this comment

    kev70

    Friday, January 29, 2016

  • Gobby. May I mark your card regarding the 'Plain Clothes Division.' I take it you mean the CID and overtime. There is no paid overtime. (in any Force) My son is with the Met Anti Terrorist Command. He works at least 10 hour days and so far 80 Rest Days for no remuneration. He does it to protect people like you.

    Report this comment

    dinosaur detective

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • Kev . Don't criticise if you don't understand ! You can only enforce the no cycling in the town if you can prove the cyclist went past a no cycling sign , quite simple. Same as any other road traffic offence , you need to be able to prove things , not just becasue Kev says !

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • The PCSO's in Ipswich are just as bad Daline, they let the bikes ride around Town even though there is a sign near Starbucks saying they can't ride between 1030-430, when I asked them why, they said they can't prove what road they've come from and they are waiting for the council to put signs up but this was 3 years ago! Useless but the Star loves them,dunno why and the road behind M&S is a constant joke with all the people parking and waiting to pick people up, double yellow lines are working there aren't they(!)

    Report this comment

    kev70

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • I imagine some criminals will be rubbing their hands with glee!

    Report this comment

    Fill-a-stein

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • What with moving the response team bases and reducing the number of Pcso's , the force will not need all those large but now underused Police Stations (with big plots of land used for car parking) . All they will need is a small lock up -shop style set of premises. Sell off the buildings and land -make a nice profit to prop up the budgets ?

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • 'fraught with danger'!!! what silly, juvenile, overblown language. Even the regular police regard them as a joke so losing one or two can hardly be 'fraught with danger' of anything, apart from the danger of having to listen to such tosh from a small town councillor wishing to make a splash in the local rag. On the wider issue of economy, although the Suffolk Constabulary seems to be very good and much better than the average force, there is no doubt that better use could be made of police budgets. Too many ranks, too higher pensions for the highest ranks and of course, the plain clothes division has long been known as the 'Heroes of the Overtime Form'. Also, we have all heard of what the police federation has been up to until Ms May put a stop to them. I refer to honourable councillors to the remarks made earlier by a Labour Treasury Minister as he was booted out of office: 'There is no money left!' Get used to it like we all have to and live within your means.

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • Thats all they do then Daline !

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • If my experience is anything to go by then losing a PCSO from Felixstowe will not make any difference. On the few times I have seen such a person walking down Hamilton Road, he looks at, then moves on past, vehicles parked where they shouldn't be included some using disabled badges. There are designated areas to park in the shared space scheme and often it is difficult for larger vehicles to pass when cars are parked outside such designated areas.

    Report this comment

    DALINE

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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