Police 'increasingly on the end of assaults', warns Suffolk chief constable
PUBLISHED: 11:06 15 September 2019
Last month my staff and I observed a minute's silence in memory of Pc Andrew Harper from Thames Valley Police, who was sadly murdered, and all the Constabulary flags were flown at half mast.
This was a stark reminder of the dangers that police officers face every day whilst protecting our communities.
I was heartened to see some flowers left in his memory by members of the public at some of our police stations, but sadly have also seen the comments of a few on social media which seem to say the death of a police officer is a "good thing".
As a result of this tragic event and some other recent occurrences, a piece of work is now under way nationally to look at how we best protect police officers.
I have expressed my views previously about tolerance in society towards public servants, not just police officers, who seem to be increasingly on the end of assaults and I will continue to lobby in support of stiffer criminal justice penalties as we all need to stand together to show the real values of our society.
I attended a meeting a couple of weeks ago with some colleagues from the NHS to discuss how we continue to work together to support people in mental health crisis.
I think it is really important to highlight the fantastic work undertaken by the mental health crisis workers who sit alongside us in our control room and crew one of our vehicles with a uniformed police officer so that we can provide the best support to those most in need.
I cannot over-estimate my admiration for all of those from the voluntary sector through to the public sector who dedicate so much time and energy to help the vulnerable in our society.
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Sadly the summer has almost come to an end and I have really enjoyed attending a number of public events which culminated at the beginning of September at the multi-cultural day in Ipswich.
Thanks to everyone who came to our stands to see what we do on your behalf and to talk to me personally in relation to what we do in Suffolk Constabulary. I can assure you that all of your thoughts and comments are used by me to help us evolve as an organisation.
There are three more public events planned for this year, the details of which are published on the Suffolk Constabulary website if you would like to come and talk to me about any concerns you may have.
In the last couple of weeks I have had the pleasure to take two passing out parades, one of regular officers and the other of Special Constables.
Seeing the pride by all of those that have now entered the public service is an inspiration to me. Talking with them and listening to their views and values is very inspiring, and I should also mention the smiles and pride from their families and loved ones who watch them pass out.
If you would like to join the Constabulary our recruitment campaign continues - it's a really rewarding career and you can find more details on our website www.suffolk.police.uk.
The recent announcement from the prime minister to increase the number of police officers and staff was very much welcomed in Suffolk.
I have taken part in a number of conference calls with other chief constables and the Home Office and work has already begun to work out how Suffolk's allocation is best used to ensure that we attract people from a diverse range of communities and also how best to deploy these additional officers and staff in roles across the county.
All these decisions will be made following analysis and consultation and in line with the Police and Crime Plan.
Our aim will be to continue to tackle crime and keep you safe by having the right people in the right places with the right skills and technology to protect and serve modern day Suffolk very effectively.