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Ipswich MP joins new police Kestrel team on swoop of town hotspots

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt with Suffolk police's Kestrel team. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt with Suffolk police's Kestrel team. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

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Ipswich MP Tom Hunt spent an evening with Suffolk police’s new Kestrel team - as they swooped on hotspots and parts of the town dealing with anti-social behaviour.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt with Suffolk police's Kestrel team. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYIpswich MP Tom Hunt with Suffolk police's Kestrel team. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Suffolk Constabulary has recruited seven officers to be deployed at short notice, wherever they are most needed in the county, to help fight against high-volume crimes such as drug-dealing, burglary and vehicle crime.

MORE: Meet the 7 new police officers recruited to swoop on prolific crime in Suffolk

Assistant chief constable Rob Jones says the six PCs in the uniformed Neighbourhood Crime Proactive team, led by Sgt Kevin Wenden, “will bolster our capability to rapidly support our local policing teams in addressing criminality”.

Mr Hunt said his Friday night touring areas such as Jubilee Park and Maple Park, which have each had problems with petty crime, and Ipswich town centre had helped give him a valuable insight into the challenges police officers face.

Suffolk police's Kestrel team have already been deployed to numerous places around the county, such as in Kesgrave after the recent shooting. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSuffolk police's Kestrel team have already been deployed to numerous places around the county, such as in Kesgrave after the recent shooting. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Crime is arguably the number one issue for many of my constituents,” he said.

“I wanted to get on the frontline and talk to the people fighting crime, as it enables me to gain a greater understanding of the complexities of it and the techniques that are being used.

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“From my point of view, as a parliamentarian, I quite valued talking to them about the aspects of the job they most enjoy and what they find the most frustrating.

Suffolk Constabulary's new Kestrel team, led by Sgt Kelvin Wenden. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYSuffolk Constabulary's new Kestrel team, led by Sgt Kelvin Wenden. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

“There is clearly a huge desire from every police officer that I meet to spend as much time as possible in the community.

“My constituents like police being out in the community.”

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He said it was therefore important to find ways to ensure officers can spend time on the frontline, minimising the paperwork that takes them away from face-to-face policing.

Rainy weather on the evening in question seemed to keep criminals away, while Mr Hunt said after visiting the town centre: “No-one I could see wasn’t following the social distancing rules.”

Afterwards, Mr Hunt Tweeted that it was a “pleasure to be out with the team”, saying he had gained “very valuable insights”.

He added: “A huge amount of expertise and dedication is demonstrated everyday by our police to keep us safe.”

The Kestrel is based in Eye and was recruited from a 4.69% rise in police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore’s element of council tax.


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