Suffolk Chief Constable Douglas Paxton says his ‘meet the public’ visits have revealed surprises in what people want prioritised.
Between meeting people in Bury St Edmunds’ arc shopping centre today, he said: “There’s quite a focus around people’s concern with speeding and using mobile phones at the wheel.
“That’s much more prevalent than I would have imagined, which is why I’m doing this.
“Some of it is about town centres, so things like drinking. That’s logical because I’m encountering people who use town centres and they want to feel safe here.
“Some of it has been about daytime drinking. That’s not an issue in Bury St edmunds because of ordnances that have been used here, but night time roudyism is quite an issue.”
He said to counter that the police have set up a Safer Nights Team.
“They are experienced officers able to come into the night time industry hot spots,” he said. “They have mobile cameras so they can capture the conduct and they are then proactively using a power to disperse people from the town centre if they suspect they may cause trouble later.”
The police can ask someone to leave an area and not return for 24 hours.
On Rural crime he said the force would be using its volunteer special constabulary and had appointed a rural crime coordinator. They also last week launched a anti-hare coursing campaign (see tomorrow’s Bury Free Press).
“We accept this is about convincing rural communities that the police service is interested in them and have got enough resources to be out there.”
He then answered the questions local people asked us to put to him: see our video for his responses.