Suffolk introduces a new virtual policing community

Suffolk Constabulary and Suffolk Police Authority are introducing a new and innovative way for local people to have their say about policing in their area.

Sep 11, 2008
By Paul Jacques

Suffolk Constabulary and Suffolk Police Authority are introducing a new and innovative way for local people to have their say about policing in their area.

The new ‘virtual policing community’ will harness the benefits of technology by using the Internet and email as a convenient and cost-effective way for the police, the police authority and the public to communicate with each other.

This also supports the recent Home Office Green Paper on policing that pledges local people will have greater say in how their neighbourhood is policed.

This new way of communicating will encourage people from every district in the county to be consulted about policing issues on a regular basis.

Suffolk Constabulary and Suffolk Police Authority already consult in different ways, including carrying out surveys. However, the new virtual policing community will provide an opportunity for local people to express their views and opinions about policing and community issues in a consistent and regular way. This will help build a more accurate picture of local people’s needs so that decisions can be made on policing priorities that will service those needs.

Chief Superintendent Mark Cordell said: “This is an opportunity for us to regularly consult with the same people and be able to identify if any positive actions taken by ourselves or our partners is actually being seen by members of our communities as making things better.

“This consistency of contact will allow us to provide a better and more responsive policing service. We are looking to consult with people who do not already have contact with us, so if people who aren’t able to attend public meetings or interact with the police already want to have a say on how their communities are policed, then we would love to hear from them.”

Police authority member Carey Godfrey added: “It is important that the police authority represents all people in Suffolk when carrying out its duty to ensure that the constabulary delivers an effective an efficient police service.

“The police authority has a statutory duty to consult with people about policing services to develop policies and to set the constabulary’s budgets and policing priorities. This new joint development is one of a number of activities the police authority undertakes to seek the views of residents of Suffolk.”

Suffolk Constabulary and Suffolk Police Authority are aiming to consult with 3,000 people via the virtual policing community to ensure a wide cross-section of the community is involved. Everyone who lives and works in the county is welcome to join.

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