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Southwold bobby keeps community on line

PUBLISHED: 14:04 16 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:36 06 July 2010

PEOPLE often complain they can never find a policeman when they want one, but folk in Southwold can find out what their local bobby is up to day or night, on or off-duty.

PEOPLE often complain they can never find a policeman when they want one, but folk in Southwold can find out what their local bobby is up to day or night, on or off-duty.

For PC Chris Sadler there's more to life than fighting crime and keeping order in the genteel resort; there's running, butterfly-spotting and rock concerts, for instance.

PC Sadler is an enthusiastic user of social networking website Twitter, posting regular “tweets” about his activities and thoughts.

Posting as “Southwold Police”, he already has more than 90 followers.

His “biography” on the site reads: “Battling against the forces of crime, bureaucracy, apathy and cream cakes.”

He updates us about his regular runs around town - he even posts his times - and also reveals a passion for nature: “At Pensthorpe nr Fakenham. Just seen my first coppertip butterfly of 2009.”

Another night he's at a gig by blues-rocker Gary Moore.

“Very loud…” he reports. And is PC Sadler a former punk rocker? “Radio 4 Today programme remembering the 1970s. Ah yes 1976: hot summer, girlfriend, Sex Pistols at Essex University with Matlock on bass.”

He also gives an interesting insight into life at Southwold nick. The grub there looks great - a picture shows a tasty-looking full English breakfast - but on another day PC Sadler is tucking into a rather more healthy meal of porridge, banana and apricot.

“Memo to self: don't burn porridge then spill some on to 'air flow' running shoes. It's like napalm - couldn't get shoes off quickly enough,” reads one update.

Crime rates are mercifully low in Southwold - just 98 offences last year. “My pepper spray expired - past its 'use-by' date,” tweets PC Sadler. “I've been issued a new can. The new can's use-by date is the same as my retirement date!”

But even here, a police officer must remain vigilant. “Latest crime in Southwold: my poster of Ursula Andress has been stolen from the shower at the police station. I suspect the sergeant,” says one post.

Next day the mystery is solved: “The sergeant removed iconic Ursula saying she was inappropriate. Mrs Southwold Police also banned her. It's a politically correct conspiracy.”

As for actual police work, PC Sadler reports “a record-breaking 8.9 miles foot patrol today in body armour and yellow coat” while another update reads: “Lovely weather and I was stuck in the station most of the day preparing a prosecution file on nuisance neighbours.”

Another day he writes: “The sergeant was overtaken on Southwold Rd, Wrentham, whilst driving to work today. Guess where I'll be with the speed gun tomorrow morning.”

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