Top cop's concern over boundary move

SUFFOLK police's chief constable fears his force will become too small and unable to deal with major investigations if moves to change local government are rubber stamped.

SUFFOLK police's chief constable fears his force will become too small and unable to deal with major investigations if moves to change local government are rubber stamped.

Controversial proposals have been drafted by the Boundary Committee which would see Lowestoft effectively removed from Suffolk and incorporated as part of Norfolk.

However, chief constable Simon Ash has listed a catalogue of concerns, including fears that the plans would:

reduce the force's ability to deal with serious incidents


You may also want to watch:


see a severe and disproportionate reduction in funding levels

leave insufficient numbers of superintendents available to deal with “on-call arrangements”

Most Read

create a large rural area with no urban influence

His fears have been outlined in a report which will be discussed at a police authority meeting on Friday.

The report reveals details of an internal staff survey carried out last month which found strong opposition to the Boundary Committee's suggestions.

In total, 74 per cent came out against the plans and only 7pc for, prompting fears over the potential for negative staff morale.

Mr Ash is also concerned the move could prompt a reduction in detection rate performance should Lowestoft be lost to Norfolk, with the Waveney district a generally high performing area.

And the county's top cop claims suggestions that Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth share strong links are wide of the mark. Statistics reveal that of those crimes detected in Lowestoft, only 2pc of offenders were from Great Yarmouth.

His response follows two ideas suggested by the Boundary Committee.

The first proposes two unitary councils - North Haven, incorporating Ipswich and Felixstowe, and Rural Suffolk, made up of the remainder of the county, minus Lowestoft.

The second is a single unitary Suffolk council, again without Lowestoft.

A decision on the future of local government in Suffolk will be made at the end of the month.

Do you share the chief constable's concerns? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter