"The force tempted me back" - Suffolk's new police chief came out of retirement for top job
PUBLISHED: 19:36 11 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:46 12 April 2019
Meet Suffolk's new chief constable - Steve Jupp - who has returned to lead the force after retiring as its deputy chief last year.
Mr Jupp began his policing career 33 years ago, joining the Metropolitan Police and later serving with four other forces across the country.
He retired as Suffolk’s deputy chief constable last year but said his love of the constabulary pulled him back when the top job became available.
“The force tempted me back,” he said.
“Suffolk is a fantastic police force, it really is.
“People talk about a family force but until you’ve been in a number of different working environments or cultures it is hard to really to recognise that.
“The people here are really dedicated, I am not saying other people in other constabularies or blue light organisations aren’t but having been here for four years I know what this force is like.
“I still feel passionate about being a police officer, I still feel as passionate as I did when I joined the Met police and patrolled the streets of Lambeth in 1986.
“I know that is true of everybody across the constabulary, about keeping people safe and preventing people from committing crime.
“I still feel with that passion in me and an organisation like this is the reason I made the decision to change career and come back into policing.”
Mr Jupp has had a varied career withing the police, working in forces the breadth of the country.
“I have been a police officer now for 33 years,” he said.
“I started my career in London in 1985 in the Metropolitan Police where I served for just over 22 years.
“I spent most of my time in the serious organised crime world, working in the Flying Squad and the National Crime Squad, which is known now as the National Crime Agency.
“I left there and transferred to West Midlands Police where I spend a period as the commander for inner Birmingham and Solihull.
“Then I became the head of crime so had responsibilities for all of the detective, forensics, the breadth of investigations.
“I left there and went to Nottingham for a couple of years as the assistant chief constable.
“Then I came here as deputy chief constable four years ago.”
Steve Jupp took the reins of the force from predecessor Gareth Wilson on Wednesday having come out of retirement to take the job.
He said: “I think importantly it’s right to remember that Suffolk has one of the lowest crime rates in the country so it’s a really safe place.
“That said I am really cognizant around perception around fear of crime and when something is reported in the media nationally people will potentially have the perception it is happening in Suffolk.
“That is not necessarily the case. That said, I do recognise that we mirror (other forces) in some ways.
“We do have issues with gang related crime, drugs, a degree of knife crime and violence although they are a much lower level proportionately.
“Crime is changing, the face of crime is changing and the skills that we as police officers need to deal with crime have to evolve constantly.
“I would like my legacy to be that I leave this constabulary in as good a place as it is now that we evolve as an organisation and our workforce evolves with it.
“That we are still really connected locally, local policing is really important, to us its a bedrock. But our workforce develops so we can deal with digital crime, that we can still meet the higher level, the serious organised crime, the gang crime and any form of counter terrorism that may occur.”
Last year figures revealed a 9% rise in crime in Suffolk with a 35% increase in the number of robberies.
Mr Jupp said: “Crime is up nationally and I think we got to a point the public feel more confident to report crime to us.
“Rightly so, we’ve made it easier for people to report to us. Suffolk has a really low level in crime so a 35% increase in robbery, while it is one of our absolute priorities to deal with, is actually not huge numbers.
“Saying that, I am not marginalising that in any sense, like I said it is priority.
“I know all of my officers are focussed on dealing with crime in our communities and how we can deal with it more effectively.”
Mr Jupp said despite a drop in the number of officers patrolling the streets of Suffolk he was determined to ensure the force’s new local policing model will succeed.
He said: “Wherever I’ve worked, I understand the public will always say they want to see more police officers. I understand why there’s a real physical reassurance to see a police officer patrolling around.
“But we have to be realistic in Suffolk on a number of things. Clearly we have to deal with things with the highest threat level as a priority.
“That said, we did listen to our communities and have remodelled the way we are delivering local policing so have put a lot of officers back into our neighbourhood teams. One of my priorities as the new chief is to ensure that the local policing model works, that we stay connected, that we remain as visible as we can whether that’s physically or through an online presence so that we deal with perceptions and the fear of crime.”