Major team to be forced on police

GOVERNMENT pressure may force Suffolk police to implement a major investigation team despite belief it will not lead to a major improvement in performance or service, it was revealed today.

GOVERNMENT pressure may force Suffolk police to implement a major investigation team despite belief it will not lead to a major improvement in performance or service, it was revealed today.

In a paper drafted for Suffolk Police Authority's strategy committee, senior officials claim the force could be “heavily criticised” and risk its reputation with the Home Office and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabularies (HMIC) if it does not launch a major investigation team (MIT).

The team, which would be dedicated to investigating the most serious crime, would comprise specialist officers and staff responsible for conducting major inquiries.

However, Chief Constable Alastair McWhirter, treasurer John Grand and Chief Executive Christopher Jackson, who authored the police authority report, claim: “Our results have been just as effective as those forces using an MIT model but it has been made quite clear to the force that we will be heavily criticised for not introducing the system.”


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Suffolk police today said it was not clear how much setting up an MIT would cost and said much of the money would probably be found by making savings elsewhere.

But the report suggests there will be a financial risk adding: “The risk here is both reputational with the Home Office/HMIC in failing to utilize (sic) the national model, and also financial in the additional staff required to meet national criteria for the make-up of the team while leaving sufficient resources to investigate volume crime at area and district level.”

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Currently when a major crime is committed in Suffolk officers are deployed from elsewhere in the force.

Lisa Miller, spokeswoman for Suffolk police, said: “Suffolk Constabulary is currently looking at the proposal to create a major investigation team in the county.

“Currently, when there is a major inquiry, police officers and staff are re-deployed from the three basic command units in the county to undertake the investigation.

“With the creation of a major investigation team, a team of officers and staff would be dedicated to major inquiries without the need to draw upon staff from area.

“A formal decision hasn't been taken on this and is now a matter for the Police Authority.”

Staffing levels will be considered during discussions about the Constabulary's budget.

Do you think Suffolk should implement a major investigation team? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail: eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Weblinks: www.suffolk.police.uk; www.eveningstar.co.uk/news

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