Drug crime and illegal High Street parking top the list of concerns raised in Haverhill
Drug crime and illegal parking in the High Street were the two biggest issues raised with Suffolk’s Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) when they held a drop-in session in Haverhill last week.
Chief Constable Gareth Wilson and Tim Passmore spent two hours in the Market Square last Friday on the final leg of a seven-day tour of the county’s town’s, which aimed to engage with the public on a more informal level and listen to their concerns.
Mr Passmore outlined the two issues that members of the public raised more than any others for Haverhill - and indeed in any of the other six places they had visited.
He said: “Definitely parking enforcement and traffic coming through the High Street, everyone is really cross about that. The other thing people are really concerned about is dealing with the drugs and violent crime.
“There was a lot of criticism of when people are prosecuted. They want proper sentencing and that’s down to the courts, and I agree with them (that more should be done.)”
Mr Wilson said: “The message we want to put out is that we know people in county lines drug dealing exploit people in communities, particularly vulnerable people.
“If someone vulnerable is being exploited then people really must contact us because our first duty is to protect people.”
Shoplifting and visibility, ie the number of officers seen in the community, was also a big concern for people in Haverhill, said Mr Passmore.
He said more police officers could only be provided if more funding was forthcoming from the Government.
Mr Passmore said: “If we had the same levels of funding per head of population as Norfolk, we would have £5 more per person, that would give us £3.5 million more and it would add up to the equivalent of 80 officers.
“All governments going back 25 years have failed to address the injustice of the funding formula for policing.
“Why is it that Suffolk continues to be treated as a back water.
“Norfolk has less cases per officer to deal with per year but gets more funding.”
All the issues raised at the ‘meet and greet’ event will be fed back to the Safer Neighbourhood Team.