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CIB success makes police upbeat

PUBLISHED: 18:39 24 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:12 06 July 2010

A TEAM set up by Suffolk police to free up front-line officers to spend more time on the beat is having an effect, the force says.

The Crime Investigation Bureau CIB was set up by Suffolk Constabulary last September to deal with minor and non-urgent, 'volume crimes' such as theft and criminal damage, where details can be dealt with over the phone.

A TEAM set up by Suffolk police to free up front-line officers to spend more time on the beat is having an effect, the force says.

The Crime Investigation Bureau CIB was set up by Suffolk Constabulary last September to deal with minor and non-urgent, 'volume crimes' such as theft and criminal damage, where details can be dealt with over the phone.

Its aim was to take on this workload from front-line officers, to enable them to spend more time within the community, responding to the needs of the public and dealing with urgent crimes, incidents and anti-social behaviour.

The force says analysis has been carried out on front line officers' 'live crime workload' and figures show that since the CIB was Within two months of being set up the CIB was dealing with 37pc of all volume crimes but by the end of February that was up to 47pc and between January and mid-march it investigated more than 3,500 crimes (up to mid March).

Prior to last September, the force says, a front-line officer would have, on average, 10.5 crimes to investigate.

But by the end of February, that number has decreased to an average of 5.6.

Suffolk's Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Stewart Gull said: “These figures show that the Crime Investigation Bureau is having a significant impact on the workload of front line officers.

“Freeing up front line officer time is crucial if we want to improve the service we provide to our communities and increase people's confidence in what we do. This is about working 'smarter' and making the best use of all staff. Only six months into the CIB being introduced, they are investigating around 47pc of all reported crime. We hope that this figure will increase even further over the next few months, making a huge difference to the impact our front line officers can have within communities.”

The CIB now deals with all reports of 'volume crime' via the switchboard as long as the crime is not in progress. The investigators will spend as much time as necessary on the phone to callers, taking sufficient information to carry out the initial investigation.

Investigators then assess whether further lines of inquiry exist; if they do not, victims will be offered a follow up visit from their local Safer Neighbourhood Team. If they do, the Investigative Response Team (IRT) begins a secondary investigation.

The IRT has 16 dedicated mobile investigators based in Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds.

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