More police for Felixstowe
FELIXSTOWE received a massive boost today with news that the town is to get a 25 per cent increase in its police officers.The news means that the number of bobbies on the beat in the resort will double – with special emphasis on problems most worrying residents.
By Richard Cornwell
FELIXSTOWE received a massive boost today with news that the town is to get a 25 per cent increase in its police officers.
The news means that the number of bobbies on the beat in the resort will double – with special emphasis on problems most worrying residents.
It comes at a time when many small towns and villages around the country are suffering a cutback in their police force, with small police stations closing and officers being asked to cover wider areas.
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But in Suffolk, Chief Constable Paul Scott Lee has pledged to recruit an extra 100 officers to the force over the next three years – and the public has agreed to pay for them.
Felixstowe is to get 12 new officers over the next six months as a share of the extra officers as part of the Constabulary's Suffolk First project to make the county the safest in the country.
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Felixstowe police commander Insp Andy Bushell said the town would be receiving 12 officers – 11 constables and a sergeant – to add to its current establishment of 45.
Of these, eight would be extra operational officers and three community police officers with a dedicated community sergeant to co-ordinate their work.
Some of the officers would be probationers and would be continuing their training during their time at Felixstowe.
"I am delighted and this is very good news for the police here and also for the community," said Insp Bushell.
"The officers will be arriving over the next few months and we should be up to full strength by Christmas.
"The community police officers will focus on those issues and problems which are important to the local people, such as youth nuisance, for example, and it will mean that I can have two officers on each beat area.
"The object is to enhance the policing in the town and to make the officers highly visible – back on the street on foot and on cycles to reassure the public, meet the public and help them wherever they can."
The value of doubling up the area beat officers has already proved its worth with many favourable comments since Pc Chris Dearing teamed up with Pc Richard Durrant on the town centre and seafront beat.
Many of the beats are quite large and it has long been recognised that more staff are needed. The Felixstowe sector also includes not only the town itself, but also the Trimley villages, Kirton, Levington, Nacton and right up to Ipswich.
Suffolk Police Authority has approved a council tax rise of an extra six per cent on average to pay for the extra officers after a survey of tax payers revealed more than half Suffolk's adults would support increases to improve services provided by the force.