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Police boss in community vow

PUBLISHED: 13:37 19 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:04 05 July 2010

WE'RE right at the heart of your local community!

That was the pledge this week from the top policeman in Suffolk as a manifesto outlining the quality of service that local residents can expect from the force was unveiled.

WE'RE right at the heart of your local community!

That was the pledge this week from the top policeman in Suffolk as a manifesto outlining the quality of service that local residents can expect from the force was unveiled.

The county constabulary have signed up to the national Policing Pledge this Christmas as it continues its commitment to putting Suffolk's communities at the very heart of policing.

And speaking exclusively to The Journal, Suffolk chief constable Simon Ash, said the force was already achieving nine of the ten points listed in the pledge.

The national initiative, which includes promises to answer 999 calls within ten seconds and increase the time officers spend on the beat, sets out clear standards for all forces and informs the public of the quality of service they should expect from their police.

The only aspect the force is not currently satisfying relates to the creation of an online crime map, which will be up and running on the force's website soon.

Every police force must be compliant and signed up to the pledge by December, 31 2008. Alongside the national pledge, Suffolk Constabulary has published local priorities for each Safer Neighbourhood Team countywide to tackle the issues that matter to local communities.

Chief Constable Simon Ash said: “Suffolk Constabulary is already a high performing force offering a quality service of which we are proud.

“Our adoption of the national Policing Pledge reinforces our continuing commitment to focus on the needs of all our local communities. We believe the pledge will provide a degree of focus upon the key commitments we are making in terms of delivering an excellent policing service.”

The national initiative came into force on July 17 this year, when the government published the green paper “From the Neighbourhood to the National: Policing Our Communities Together”.

This included the plans for the new Policing Pledge, which sets out a national standard of what the public can expect from the police.

In addition to this nationally agreed pledge, Constabularies are expected to develop an additional local part of the pledge.

“The idea is to set clear expectations for members of the public,” Mr Ash said. “A lot of what is contained in the pledge is very much in tune with the approach we have already implemented.”

Hitting the streets of Lowestoft on Wednesday > Chief Constable Ash joined forces with local officers PCSO Sue Kershaw and PC Dave Boggis, and Suffolk County Councillor Jane Hore - representing Suffolk Police Authority - to hand out leaflets to the public informing them of the new pledge and the importance of Safer Neighbourhood teams.

Gulshan Kayembe, Chair of Suffolk Police Authority, said: “We are responsible for ensuring that Suffolk Constabulary is responsive to communities' needs. The pledge is a great way to assure the public that we will provide them with a policing service that they want and deserve. The Constabulary's Safer Neighbourhood Teams are having a positive impact on the fight against crime in Suffolk. Their work, coupled with the pledge, will give local people an even stronger voice about how their communities are policed. This can only be a positive step towards an even safer Suffolk.”

A copy of the Policing Pledge can be found on each of the Safer Neighbourhood Team websites, which are accessible at www.safersuffolk.org.uk.

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