A major change to the way Haverhill police’s Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT) chooses its priorities is to take place.
Priorities had previously been set by a public vote at meetings held every three months.
These meetings have been cancelled with immediate effect and the police are looking into new ways to engage the public in neighbourhood policing.
“SNTs will now be tasked directly,” said Inspector Peter Ferrie. “They will concentrate on problems that create the greatest threat, harm and risk to their local community.
“Haverhill has always had a very successful and robust SNT meeting and discussions are underway between the police and key partners as to how we’re going to continue to best engage with the public in Haverhill.”
The next meeting had been due to be held at Haverhill Arts Centre on March 9. This meeting has now been cancelled.
Alternatives to the public priority setting meetings are currently being developed.
Insp Ferrie said that, in the future, he expected that the SNT would concentrate on protecting vulnerable people and victims of domestic violence, protecting young people from abuse and harm and dealing with the root causes of crime and violence.
Councillor Maureen Byrne said: “I’m very sad and disappointed that the police authority has decided the meetings are no longer a priority.
“I think the meetings have given people the opportunity to meet their inspector and the police and have given them the confidence to share local issues one to one. They’ve been extremely successful.”
Insp Ferrie said: “I think it’s really important that we do dedicate our time to dealing with those really big, serious problems in this town, and that’s what’s going to happen.”
Any feedback in relation to these changes should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.