Police still waiting for stab vests

POLICE in Suffolk are still waiting for stab vests despite the increasing risks facing them, the Evening Star can reveal.The stabbing of detective Stephen Oakes in Manchester has highlighted the dangers of modern policing.

POLICE in Suffolk are still waiting for stab vests despite the increasing risks facing them, the Evening Star can reveal.

The stabbing of detective Stephen Oakes in Manchester has highlighted the dangers of modern policing.

New body armour will cost £400,000 over three years. Previously, if officers wanted extra protection, they would have to buy it themselves.

A new consignment of vests is still awaited in Suffolk, which is among the last places in the UK to get the protective gear needed to cope with the most violent incidents.


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Authority member Brendan Fulham urged the process to be speeded up, after policeman Stephen Oake was murdered while on an anti-terrorism swoop in Manchester on Tuesday.

The Evening Star revealed on Thursday how the Port of Felixstowe was among UK ports to have security increased.

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Special Branch officers carry guns on patrol, and intelligence services troops are on stand-by ready to be called amid growing fears of a terrorist attack troops.

Last month officers faced a Samurai sword-wielding man in Saxmundham and had to fire plastic bullets for the first time in Suffolk.

Mr Fulham voiced his concern for officers' safety, and said: "In the light of the stabbing in Manchester, is there any way we can speed up the process of introducing protective vests in Suffolk?"

But acting chief constable Gillian Parker said: "We are trying our best. Staff at Ipswich Police Station have told me their measuring process is going better than they had thought, although everybody has to be individually measured. I can assure you we are trying to get this equipment through as soon as possible."

Her words came on Friday , after a high security court remanded in custody the man accused of murdering Special Branch officer Stephen Oake.

Kamel Bourgass, 27, who also faces charges of attempting to murder four other Greater Manchester police officers, is due to appear at the Old Bailey on January 27.

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