For Suffolk chief in firing line

A FORMER deputy chief constable of Suffolk police has been called on to resign after the force where she moved to take the top job was rated worst in the country.

A FORMER deputy chief constable of Suffolk police has been called on to resign after the force where she moved to take the top job was rated worst in the country.

Bedfordshire police, and its chief constable, Gillian Parker, faced severe criticism in the annual report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) published this week.

Ms Parker moved to Bedfordshire from Suffolk constabulary, which achieved the joint third highest rating in the country in the new report, in 2005.

Conservative MP for mid Bedfordshire Nadine Dorries called for Ms Parker to step down following the 'appalling' report.

She said: “I am horrified that Bedfordshire police has been officially rated as the 'worst' performing police force in the country. The chief constable should do the decent thing and resign her position immediately”

She went on to say that she was appalled that the force was rated as 'poor' for protecting vulnerable people, and 'excellent' in female representation and stop/searching of ethnic groups, voicing concerns that priority is being put on political correctness at the expense of traditional police protection.

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Ms Parker joined Suffolk Constabulary in 1998 as assistant chief constable, and was promoted to deputy chief constable in 2000, before leaving in 2005 to take the top job at Bedfordshire.

The report had good news for residents of Suffolk, where the constabulary was rated as 'excellent' in three categories - tackling crime, satisfaction and fairness, and local priorities.

Overall, the force came joint third place in the national league table, tying with Dyfed Powys, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire and West Mercia.

Chief Constable Simon Ash said: “Suffolk has faced an exceptionally challenging year.

“The HMIC's report highlights the high standard of performance that has resulted from the hard work and commitment everyone involved with Suffolk Constabulary has shown over the last 12 months.”

Chairman of the police authority, Gulshan Kayembe, said the chief constable and all staff deserved congratulations on their professionalism and commitment.

Suffolk police, with 15 points, ranked one place higher than neighbouring Norfolk, which tied with south and west Yorkshire, all earning 14 points.

Essex came in at joint seventh place, with 11 points.

HMIC conducts an annual assessment of all 43 constabularies across England and Wales.

It rates each force in seven categories, and points are then assigned based on the scores awarded, to provide a league table.

Lancashire and Surrey forces came joint top of the table, both with 18 points.

What do you think of Suffolk police's performance over the last 12 months? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or e-mail

Chart - How Suffolk fared in the 2007 HMIC report

Tackling crime - Excellent

Satisfaction and fairness - Excellent

Local priorities - Excellent

Serious crime and public protection - Good

Resources and efficiency - Good

Implementation of neighbourhood policing - Fair

Protecting vulnerable people - Fair