This page contains the following
Description of policing
of the force
Violence against a
Safety of public
For an update on Suffolk’s performance please click
The Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, has been clear that her
overarching priority for the police is to cut crime. In practice,
this involves: the prevention and detection of crime; understanding
offender behaviour; dealing with the activities that can lead to
criminality; building relationships with the public; understanding
the experience of victims; maintaining public order; policing
public spaces; keeping communities safe; and many other issues.
In addition, as an emergency service, the police have a number
of other responsibilities and commitments, including preparing for
and responding to major incidents and even natural disasters.
This statement is an attempt to represent all the demands,
responsibilities and commitments on the police and put the
statistics made available to the public in context.
The role of the police is to respond to calls for assistance
from the public and other agencies, and to initiate other activity
to ensure the safety of the community. Ultimately, everything the
police do is in order to cut crime.
In common with the rest of the public sector, police forces are
finding new and less expensive ways of working that meet the needs
of the public and sustain quality of service.
Of particular note is the new initiative of Restorative Justice
(or community resolution) through which the police can reduce
re-offending, reduce cost and better meet the needs of victims in
dealing with crimes where the offender is known. Forces now use new
ways of dealing with some crimes, meaning that some ‘official’
statistics (such as detection rates) under-represent the success in
Forces are also placing emphasis on understanding criminals,
particularly those who represent a serious threat and operate in
organised groups. Offenders don’t recognise force boundaries and so
police forces work together to prevent serious crimes including
terrorism. These crimes are relatively rare but take a great deal
of effort and resource.
In order to increase resilience and reduce the cost of policing
in Suffolk, significant progress has been made around working in
collaboration with other forces individually and at a regional
level. The most important of these is Suffolk’s preferred
partnership with Norfolk Constabulary. During the next few years
Suffolk and Norfolk will be providing a joint policing service for
nearly all back office functions, as well as most specialist
frontline areas such as protective services and custody.
For example, six new Police Investigation Centres (PICs) have
been built across the two counties. The introduction of PICs across
Suffolk and Norfolk has seen custody facilities centralised to six
centres. Two of these are in Suffolk, one in Bury St. Edmunds and
one at Martlesham (PHQ), with the remaining four in Norfolk at
Gorleston near Great Yarmouth, Wymondham, Kings Lynn and
Suffolk and Norfolk are working in true collaboration, with
jointly managed and financed units. This can lead to difficulties
when reading ‘official’ statistics on workforce numbers, as these
will not represent the true nature of collaborative units.
Description of policing
Suffolk Constabulary is responsible for policing an area of 3801
square kilometres, with a population of around 720,000, which has
grown nearly 8% since 2001.
Suffolk is a rural county and has large areas of low population
density, with nearly a quarter of all residents living in villages.
A long coastline stretches from Felixstowe in the south to
Lowestoft in the north, and the county is renowned for its rural
businesses, such as farming, light industry, brewing and
The county has some notable landmarks, such as the headquarters
of British horseracing at Newmarket and the largest container port
in Europe at Felixstowe. It has a number of military bases, two of
which – Lakenheath and Mildenhall – are home to the United States
Air Force and approximately 20,000 dependants. The county town of
Ipswich poses the greatest policing demand, which primarily relates
to its busy nightlife and significant levels of relative
As Suffolk is a predominantly rural county, it is perhaps not
surprising that its economic growth is lower than the national and
regional averages. Suffolk also has a relatively low proportion of
its population who are of working-age, and this is closely related
to the fact that some parts of the county are popular locations for
retirement. The proportion of people of working age reflects the
generally older age structure in the county. Equally, there has
been a substantial increase in the student population with the
continued success of Suffolk New Collage. This expansion has seen a
growth in students from outside the county living and studying in
Suffolk has a diverse community, with around 7% of all residents
being black or minority ethnic. In Suffolk around the same
percentage as the national average live as same-sex couples and a
slightly higher than average percentage describe themselves as
of the force
Summary of performance
Suffolk is a safe county, with crime now at its lowest level for
a decade having reduced for the 5th year in a row.
More crime was solved in our county too, with the proportion of
crimes being solved increasing by 3% to 33%.
But it’s not just crime that is falling, as
the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour fell by
8.3%. This is reflected in the fact that people in Suffolk
have the lowest level of concern about anti-social behaviour in
England, according to the national British Crime Survey.
Surveys show that falling crime and anti
social behaviour have helped to make more than 90% of people in
Suffolk feel safe. They also show that more than 84% of
people who had contact with us said they were satisfied with the
service they received.
Dealing with crime and anti social behaviour
is important, but Suffolk Constabulary deal with far more than
this. For instance, we answered more than 91% of the 91,557 -
999 calls we received within 10 seconds and attended more than 90%
of all emergencies within 15 minutes.
The Force recognises that key challenges in
respect of the level house burglary and violent crime involving
injury continue and these have been made priorities for performance
improvement by the Police Authority.
Violence against a
Violence against the person is a very broad
label that ranges from murder, through assaults causing injury, to
stalking and harassment (that doesn’t cause physical injury). It
accounts for approximately 20% of all crime in England and
Violent crime, particularly involving injury,
is a high priority for the Force. All types of violence are
carefully investigated by category including domestic and child
abuse, violence in public and sexual offences. Specialist
officers are employed in each category including a night-time
economy team, victim care officers and a dedicated rape
Working in partnership a Sexual Assault
Referral Centre has been opened in Ipswich allowing victims to
confidentially report crimes and incidents from which they receive
comprehensive support. Also, working in partnership, progress
is being made in respect of licensing legislation designed to help
ensure a safer night-time economy, supported by initiatives such as
the introduction of town pastors, the nationally recognised “Best
Bar None” scheme and an SOS bus service.
Acquisitive crime is based on a motivation
to steal money or property and includes burglary, robbery, vehicle
crime, and theft and handling stolen goods. It accounts for
approximately 50% of all crime in England and Wales.
In respect of acquisitive crime, Suffolk has
low rates with vehicle crime having fallen by 30% over the last
decade. For households in Suffolk the chance of being
subjected to a burglary is fewer than 1 in 150 each year, which is
well below the national average. Suffolk has relatively few
robbery offences with two-thirds occurring in Ipswich and a
priority crime team has been formed to tackle this and associated
Anti social behaviour (ASB) is categorised
as either nuisance, environmental or personal ASB. It includes
rowdy and inconsiderate behaviour, street drinking and
malicious/nuisance communications. It is sometimes difficult to
distinguish this from some crimes, such as criminal damage and ‘low
level’ public order. It is also often a precursor to crime. ASB has
a complex relationship with crime and can be a matter of
interpretation and perspective. However, it can have devastating
effects on quality of life and the safety of individuals and
communities, particularly if it is a repeated event.
Public consultation has shown that ASB is
consistently the highest priority for the people of Suffolk.
ASB, particularly rowdy and inconsiderate behaviour, has been
reduced by 20% over the last 4 years. This coincided with a
reduction of 20% in criminal damage offences. Much of this
work has been achieved through effective partnership working and
local engagement with residents, to reduce repeat victimisation and
target hot spot locations. This work is being further developed
with the introduction of joint-agency ASB teams, which draw
together the different services to tackle ongoing problems.
Individuals or groups are often vulnerable
because of their circumstances or characteristics such as religion,
age, ethnicity or previous victimisation. The police have a
responsibility to protect vulnerable members of the public, whether
victims of crime or not. Specially trained officers provide support
to vulnerable people.
The Constabulary has committed itself to a
programme of consultation and engagement with minority groups in
order to understand their needs and concerns. This has helped
to develop policies relating to key activities such as hate crime,
stop & search and the provision of services to victims of
The Contabulary has a vibrant Stop &
Search reference group including members of the public and
representatives from the Ipswich & Suffolk Campaign for Racial
Equality (ISCRE). The multi-agency Hate Crime Unit ensures
victims of hate crime are supported and that investigation
opportunities are maximised. Crimes involving domestic abuse
are subjected to a detailed risk assessment to help ensure
vulnerable victims are protected and that offenders are brought to
of public spaces
As well as dealing with crimes and
incidents and protecting individuals, the police also deal with the
safety of larger groups, both as part of organised, pre-planned
events and in emergency situations. The police work closely with
other agencies (including the other emergency services) to
facilitate the safety of the public, and provide the flexibility to
respond to anything dangerous or criminal that might happen during
these large scales events.