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Suffolk-wide Specials take the lead

PUBLISHED: 16:07 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:26 05 July 2010

OFFICERS from the Special Constabulary are taking the lead in a regional operation to reduce the number of people wanted on warrant for failing to appear at court across the east of England.

OFFICERS from the Special Constabulary are taking the lead in a regional operation to reduce the number of people wanted on warrant for failing to appear at court across the east of England.

Codenamed Operation Surrender, Specials from Suffolk will join forces with colleagues from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk to simultaneously hit the streets where they live and work in a bid to track down those who think they can avoid prosecution.

This first-ever initiative starts next week, and it is being co-ordinated by Bedfordshire's Special Chief Officer, Nigel Green.

“This is an important aspect of our work, as if someone does not turn up to court then justice is not done,” he said. “Offenders need to know that avoiding court is not an escape route and public confidence in the whole criminal justice system is essential so if the public see that that we are doing our utmost to bring offenders to justice then that trust will be increased.”

With over a thousand warrants outstanding across the region the Special Constabulary is gearing itself up for a busy few weeks.

Mark Hopkins, Assistant Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police and regional ACPO lead for the Special Constabulary said: “This really is an innovative initiative. Failure to answer summonses to appear at court is a real problem. But those who have failed to turn up to respond to the charges against them must understand that there is no hiding place.”

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