Resort cops are on the double
POLICE in Felixstowe are aiming to get to grips with crime and nuisance problems – by doubling the number of beat bobbies.The new team set up to cover the resort and its hinterland will not only be a reassuring and friendly face for the community, but a flexible unit which, they claim, can target issues to get results.
POLICE in Felixstowe are aiming to get to grips with crime and nuisance problems – by doubling the number of beat bobbies.
The new team set up to cover the resort and its hinterland will not only be a reassuring and friendly face for the community, but a flexible unit which, they claim, can target issues to get results.
Sgt Mick Richardson, who served as a beat bobby at the resort, has returned to the town's police station in High Road West to head the new team of nine community police officers, known as CPOs.
Members of the team have been assigned to different areas of the town, the Trimley villages, and the Felixstowe sector's rural patch, which covers the whole peninsula between the rivers Deben and Orwell and stretches to Ipswich.
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They will be visible on the streets, getting to know people, holding surgeries, working with schools, parish councils and residents' groups, and gathering intelligence and information to have an intimate knowledge of their beats.
But they will also be used to work in each other's areas when there is a problem which needs targeting in order to get quick results.
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"We used to have four officers and now this has been increased to nine and my job is to supervise them and bring their activity together so that we work as an effective team," said Sgt Richardson.
"I have worked with them all previously during my time in the job and so I know them and they all know me and they work well together and are very enthusiastic and capable.
"They are also experienced officers and so can make their own decisions on issues and don't have to refer everything to me.
"We are already starting to make a difference. There are more officers out there at one time and we have changed shift patterns slightly so they are about when people are there to talk to, daytime and evening."
The main difference from the previous beat officer system will be the way in which Sgt Richardson can use the CPOs as a team to attack problems.
"We will be very pro-active in dealing with issues causing concern to the community and able to achieve a great deal by working together," he said.
"If, for example, we have problems with youths at Trimley, we now have a sergeant and nine officers which can be used to focus on that issue – it's no longer a question of small resources trying to tackle it, we get the team to target that issue and deal with it."
Recent activity saw Nacton targeted and a man arrested in connection with car crime. The sector also works closely with Woodbridge and its beat officers, joining forces to deal with problems in adjoining areas.
*Do you think these new measures will make a difference? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN, or email EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk