Haverhill councillors’ policing concerns are being addressed, says Suffolk’s PCC

Tim Passmore
Tim Passmore

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) says the lack of a police presence at the monthly Haverhill Town Council meetings and the way the latest crime figures are presented are being looked at.

The two issues were among many discussed at the latest full council meeting on April 24 and following that a meeting was held later in the week between Haverhill’s borough council representatives and PCC Tim Passmore.

At the town council meeting councillors expressed their frustration that no police representative had attended the meeting for one year and that crime figures were presented in the form of a Haverhill Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) newsletter that failed to provide a break down of crimes actually committed specifically in Haverhill.

Cllr Tony Brown said: “The worst thing is that we don’t have any officers that can come up to the town council and give a presentation and the town council is pretty peed off about it because of the lack of interaction.”

Town clerk Colin Poole added: “It would make more sense for the police to turn up for 15 minutes and then go. That’s what they’ve done for years and I don’t see why they can’t do that again.”

The police presence at the meetings has stopped since the Suffolk Constabulary completed a Local Policing Review early last year.

The review also led to Haverhill police station being closed to the public, with visitors having to instead use an intercom at the entrance to request an officer. The quarterly public SNT priority setting meetings in town also ended after the review.

Mr Passmore gave an assurance that the police station is not going to close completely in Haverhill and said if operational procedures allowed it, the police would still like to try to get an officer to a town council meeting.

It is an issue he said he would raise with the Locality Policing Inspector for Sudbury and Haverhill, Danny Cooper.

Mr Passmore said: “We are not happy with the format of some of the (SNT) newsletters, they are pretty variable in their quality and that’s being looked at.

“Within a month that will be sorted out.”

Mr Passmore added that £200,000 is also going to be invested to improve the 101 incident reporting system.