New police chief praises second-to-none working environment of force
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk’s new police chief has vowed to focus on fighting crime across every community.
Steve Jupp had retired when chief Gareth Wilson announced his own departure in October – but the former deputy emerged as sole applicant for the £142,689-a-year job – vacated as a restructure saw 104 officers move into safer neighbourhood teams but PCSO numbers cut from 81 to 48.
Mr Jupp, whose appointment was confirmed by the Police and Crime Panel in Ipswich on Friday, joined in 2015 from an assistant chief role in Nottinghamshire.
Taking up his new job when Mr Wilson retires in April, he said: “Coming in as chief constable is about providing stability and maintaining confidence.
“We’ve seen sustained progress and it’s about continuing on that path; building on morale and introducing a frontline-focused leadership programme for good work to be recognised.
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“This is my fifth police organisation and its operating environment is second to none.
“We can’t be naive to financial challenges but our staff massively punch above their weight.
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“Our new operating model has given back to safer neighbourhood teams and enlarged capability.
“We can’t just focus on urban areas. We need to serve all communities, while reducing organisational demand so we can focus on detection and prevention.”
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Tim Passmore added: “I have no hesitation in endorsing Steve as an excellent candidate, who is particularly dedicated to his adopted county of Suffolk.”
With a single applicant for the last three jobs, Mr Passmore said an overhaul of the national recruitment scheme was needed, adding: “The fact other forces have this problem shows the system needs improving, but our selection was independently verified and meticulous.
“I don’t think anyone would question the validity of the process, or dispute we have a very fine candidate with whom I will have robust discussions to make joint decisions for the county. ”
Mr Jupp is the PCC’s fourth chief constable after Simon Ash, Douglas Paxton and Mr Wilson.
According to the Home Affairs Select Committee, the average tenure is about three years of a five-year contracted term.
Independent panel member Len Jacklin called it a “worrying trend” but wished Mr Jupp a long period of stability.