Forest Heath’s new local policing commander has said he is ‘very pleased’ to be here and has made tackling burglary rates his number one priority.
Inspector Matthew Rose undertook the role on December 17 and spent the festive season familiarising himself with his new beat.
He said: “It’s a really interesting area, Forest Heath, you’ve got a fantastic mix of urban towns and villages you’ve got the big bases, you’ve got the home of horse racing, Newmarket.”
Insp Rose said the make-up of Forest Heath presented its own challenges, such as communication with the 1,000s of people working at RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath and the district’s large migrant workforce.
However, Insp Rose’s number one priority is reducing burglary levels.
He said: “There has been an increase recently in burglaries within the Forest Heath district, it’s a priority for my officers and it’s also a priority for the force - we are getting a lot of extra support from specialist units.”
Inspector Rose wished to remind residents of the importance of security.
The news in Forest Heath is not all bad however, the past 12 months have seen more than 400 fewer crimes reported than the average over the last three years.
Insp Rose said: “We monitor our performance very carefully, I’m held to account for our performance within the district and we watch for trends.
“If we see something, perhaps an emerging issue, we will work very hard with our partners, the local district council, the air bases, the housing associations, the town councils, to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.”
Communication is vital to the role of the role of the three Safer Neighbourhood Teams and five response units that Insp Rose manages and he stressed the importance of the public passing on information that could help them.
Policing in Forest Heath will see changes in the future including a closer working relationship with Norfolk Police, who, if nearer, will respond to emergency calls in the district.
Insp Rose began his career as a policeman in the RAF before joining the civilian police force.
He said: “ I joined primarily to help people. That could be being at the scene of a crime or preventing a crime or could just be literally helping find missing persons and helping out at traffic accidents, all the huge range of things that police do every day to help people. That’s why I’m still a police officer now because I enjoy helping people.”
The morning I interviewed Insp Rose coincided with the launch of Forest Heath police’s new twitter feed @ForestHthPolice