Column On the Beat: Haverhill Inspector Peter Ferrie

The next SNT Priority Setting Meeting is being held at Burton End Primary School at 7pm on Monday, March 11.

Usually we get anywhere between 20 to 50 members of the public, local councillors, residents’ associations and press turn up.

The meetings are held every three months to set the three main priorities for the 10 members of staff belonging to Haverhill SNT. The make up of the team is Sgt Sarah Bartley, four constables and five PCSOs. These officers have direct responsibility for patrolling all areas and estates in town and also for owning all of the harder to solve and more long term problems that crop up.

These SNT officers are the ones that you will see out on foot and are also the ones that I encourage to get to know their local communities really well. They attend local schools, residents’ associations and other meetings and are really at the sharp end of the war on crime and ASB.

Our next SNT meeting on March 11 is slightly different to the usual meetings that we hold because we have two of Suffolk’s big hitters attending. The PCC Tim Passmore is coming to answer any questions you might have about policing in Suffolk under his new control, and also about the direction he wants to take Suffolk Police in. This is a real coup for Haverhill as I don’t believe he will be attending many other SNT meetings in Suffolk.

We also have Guy McGregor from Suffolk County Council coming to the meeting, at the request of Tim Marks, the chair of the Haverhill SNT. Many members of the public who attended previous SNT meetings were unhappy at the decision by SCC not to carry on with pedestrianising the High Street. Mr McGregor is the portfolio holder for Transport for SCC and ultimately the person who will make the final decision as to the future shape of High Street. Anyone with even the slightest interest in the future of the High Street is invited to come to the meeting to have their say.

You will not get a better chance than this to influence the movers and shakers who have power over our lives.

What I would just add is that I’m sure that Haverhill people will express themselves to both Tim Passmore and Guy McGregor in a passionate yet polite manner. For the purposes of the meeting, Burton End school becomes a public place and as the local policing commander I will be ensuring that the event doesn’t become disorderly or abusive to our guests.

On a different subject, we received a lot of good local press recently about the SNT staffing levels being increased. I can also report that over the next few months we will be having three new officers join the response side of policing in Haverhill as well. We will be having two new recruits Kirit Shah and Robert March joining us from Training School, and also a transferee from Essex Police Georgie Parrott is arriving on February 27. When they all arrive we will be fully staffed across both the SNT and response side of policing in Haverhill - certainly the first time that has happened in my year and a half as the town’s policing commander. Being fully staffed means that officers can be more proactive, so it should have a positive impact on crime levels and detection rates.