As part of a week’s filming for PolicingTV with Suffolk Constabulary, Assistant Chief Constable Eamonn Bridger spoke to PolicingTV’s Founder and Publisher, Bernard Rix, about his career to date, and about his current role in leading the development of the force’s new operating model.
“I was born and bred in Suffolk, and an officer in Suffolk for 22 years now… I’ve had a variety of different roles over the years… I’m involved in some of the big national portfolios, and in particular I’m the National Lead for Child Death Investigation”.
“Where we’re really lucky in Suffolk is we have a public who really engage with us, so we do hear and respond to their needs and thoughts”.
“We’re a constabulary that prides ourselves in listening to the public. We are well rated when looked at objectively by the Inspectorate. We know that the Policing Model that we currently have does a good job. Having said that… things change. The communities of Suffolk have changed incredibly, over the twenty two years that I have been involved in policing and the demands on policing have changed hugely as well”.
“The public are looking for different things from policing now. Some of our demand profiles have changed. Some of the make-ups and size of our towns and urban areas are really different to how they used to be”.
“We have done an awful lot of evidence-based research, so really analysing where does our demand come from, what do the public want from us nowadays, where does that demand actually find itself geographically. It’s given us the opportunity over a period of time to really reflect, and now we are moving towards how can we use the finite resources that we have… to meet the demand in the right way, to make sure the public are as satisfied as they can be”.
“Our vision is to give community policing officers less requirement to deliver investigation, more requirement to problem-solve in communities, so working with communities to understand what are the long-standing issues, what are the underlying factors that create crime and anti-social behaviour. And then, working in partnership with those communities, look at the actual way that we can best solve it. So we’re not always dealing with the symptoms, but that we’re actually providing an up-stream cure to some of those challenges”.
“We’ve seen evidence where this has worked really well, that will improve community engagement, it will improve problem-solving, and actually should reduce the demands that come from those communities through crime and anti-social behaviour, because – rather than just dealing with that call when it comes in – we’ll actually be looking at the underlying issues that are creating the problem”.
“Three component parts [detailed by ACC Bridger in the video] give us the opportunity to deal with the mass volume of demand the public have, but also to be effective and efficient with how we respond to those issues that come our way”.
“This is a really exciting time for Suffolk Police!”
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