The new county policing model in Suffolk goes live on Monday 4th April 2016. Teams and resources have been re-designed following the Suffolk Local Policing Review, to ensure that policing in Suffolk is able to respond to current demand.
Analysis of demand has been a driving factor in the re-design of policing services, as senior leaders have looked to identify where resources and services can be better structured to make sure that members of the public get the service they need from the right agency at the right time.
The results of this analysis have led to a series of changes including enhanced processes for the investigation of crime, a reduction in the number of police station front counters to reflect the demand they face and the relocation of Safer Neighbourhood Teams and emergency response bases according to demand.
Police are available at all times for an urgent response - public safety remains the top priority and this will always be the case. Nationally, more than three quarters of 999 calls received by police are for non-emergencies. This number should be protected for urgent calls, and it is important that members of the public understand the variety of ways they can get in touch for the most effective response.
Within Suffolk Constabulary's Contact and Control Room (CCR):
- Around 284,000 calls are received per year, or approx 782 per day (average based on 2015 including 999 and non-emergency calls).
- Only around 20% of these relate to crime. The remaining 80% are made up of administrative calls, or relate to anti-social behaviour, public safety / welfare and transport.
- The largest proportion is attributable to public safety and welfare calls.
A large number of calls are received that do not relate to police matters. The police are often the ‘service of last resort' - people call the police when they don't know who else to call. The commitment of police to public safety means that officers are sent to calls for help that are not police-related and are therefore diverting resources from emergencies.
To tackle these issues, the Constabulary is working to improve its online services to make sure that more information is readily available through its website to answer queries and to direct members of the public to the correct agency, and through raising awareness of the correct use of police numbers and the breadth of policing demand.
How to get in touch
- 999 - In an emergency, always dial 999. If a crime is in progress or if there is a threat to life, call immediately and you will receive an urgent response.
- 101 - For non-urgent police matters, dial 101. The number is available 24/7 and is for reporting less-urgent crime, to speak with someone about an incident already reported, or to contact a specific police officer or member of staff.
Website - visit www.suffolk.police.uk to report a crime, to report a fraud and to find the answer to a huge range of policing questions. Safety advice can also be found online, along with contact details for our teams.
Non-urgent messages can be sent to police via the Constabulary Facebook page - Suffolk Constabulary Official Page or via @SuffolkPolice on Twitter. Following these accounts provides regular access to crime and policing updates. These should not be used for requesting urgent police assistance.
Police stations - Police station front counters at Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Lowestoft will be open from 9am-5pm Monday - Friday and Saturday 10am-6pm. Station clerks can assist with a range of policing queries and can take reports of crime.
Local officers - Safer Neighbourhood Team officers spend time out and about in local communities and are available to speak about local issues.
At times, the police are not the best agency to provide the support or help needed. The Constabulary should always be the first port of call when someone is in danger or a crime is in progress but alternative agencies should be contacted for issues including:
- Noisy neighbours: The police do not have any powers to prosecute for noise nuisance. The Environmental Health department of your local authority should be contacted unless a crime is in progress.
- Defective street lights: the local council has the responsibility for maintaining or repairing street lights.
- Rogue traders: Reports of rogue traders should be made to Trading Standards. If you are aware of an incident in progress, or someone is in danger call police on 999.
- Lost or found dogs: Local councils have dog wardens who deal with lost or found dogs, call them for assistance and advice with these matters.
Full information on the services provided by the Council can be found at www.suffolk.gov.uk.
Chief Constable Gareth Wilson said: "As a police service, it is crucial that we are available when people need us, at all times.
"To help us, we need to make sure people know the most appropriate ways to get in contact. By sending an email, reporting a less serious issue online, or dialling 101 when it is not an emergency, you are protecting our 999 number and ensuring that it is used only for urgent calls for help.
"As part of our review of local policing services, we undertook extensive analysis to understand how and why people contact us. As a result, we are working to make sure we are available in the ways people want - moving resources away from areas such as police station front counters where demand has significantly decreased, and enhancing our online presence to improve the services available on our website and other digital channels.
"It's also important for people to recognise what is and isn't a police matter. The demand we face is extremely complex and our resources are finite, so making the right call ensures that our teams are dealing with matters affecting communities and responding to reports of crime. Knowing who to call in the first place will not only reduce the volume of calls to our staff, but will save members of the public time by speaking to the correct organisation in the first instance.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: "The most important message we can relay to the public is that if you need help from the police - they will be there for you, night or day.
"I am proud of the service that Suffolk Police provides, it provides an efficient and effective service to the people of Suffolk and we should all be reassured that we live in a safe county. I opted to keep the control room in the county which was a big decision for me, now I am committed to improving the service and where possible joining up with other agencies to provide a broader and better service for the county.
"I fully support the Constabulary's campaign to highlight what is, and what is not, an issue for the police to deal with. You would be amazed at some of the calls that come through to the control room - a very high percentage are not police issues at all and with a little bit of thought and common sense many of the calls could be directed more effectively to the correct agency.
"The Constabulary is always going to be the agency of last resort and that is absolutely right. If you are at risk, under threat or feeling vulnerable the police will help you regardless if a crime has been committed and that will remain the case, always.”
Full information on the Suffolk Local Policing Review is available here.
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Police Connect Team