Waveney police meetings hailed a success

A SERIES of public meetings organised by Suffolk Constabulary and Suffolk Police Authority have been hailed a success after almost 500 people attended them across the county.

A SERIES of public meetings organised by Suffolk Constabulary and Suffolk Police Authority have been hailed a success after almost 500 people attended them across the county.

Between September 22 and October 9, 485 people attended the meetings as chief officers from the constabulary and senior members of the police authority held seven meetings countywide - one in each district of Suffolk, with the Waveney session proving popular.

At each meeting, residents had the opportunity to have a one to one discussion with a Chief Police Officer and to take part in a question and answer session with Police Authority members and police officers.

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Kitching was delighted by the response from the public. “I am extremely pleased that so many people took the opportunity to come along and it was a great pleasure to meet so many residents first hand. The aim of the meetings was to enable us to gauge people's views on the service we offer and any issues local to them, and to help us make the appropriate decisions about policing the county in the future. Some interesting issues were raised and this will enable our newly restructured Safer Neighbourhood Teams to continue to identify and address local crime and disorder issues.”

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The Chair of Suffolk Police Authority, Gulshan Kayembe, said: “As Chair of the Police Authority, I was delighted with the attendance at the meetings and the feedback from residents countywide. At each meeting a variety of interesting questions were posed and we have gathered a lot of information, which will be followed up by our Safer Neighbourhood Teams. Suffolk is a safe county, but the Constabulary must not be complacent. There are still areas where the force can improve even further and we are determined to act on the feedback gathered at the meetings.”

The meetings also included a Game Show style voting session where the public gave their views on policing in the county.

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The results show that of the 485 people who attended, 86pc feel very safe or fairly safe in the area where they live; 56pc rate the police in their area as excellent or good; 58pc said they see a police officers or police community support officer patrolling in their area on a weekly or monthly basis; and 43pc of people who responded to the survey said they would support an above inflation increase to their council tax for the police service and 49pc said they would support an in line with inflation increase.

“The findings from the voting are extremely interesting,” added Gary Kitching, Assistant Chief Constable. “To have such a high percentage of people feeling very safe or fairly safe in their local area is encouraging - it shows that Suffolk is not only a safe county, but people feel safe in their neighbourhood.

“One area which we would like to improve on is the number of police officers being seen patrolling in Suffolk. I would like to reiterate that this feedback is vital to how we shape the policing service for the future and we will be taking this information on board.”

Any members of the public, who were unable to attend a meeting, can also give their views on policing in Suffolk by logging on to an online survey at www.s uffolk.police.uk

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