Friday, 29 June 2012



Your opinion piece (The new police role is raising questions June 25th) makes an important point about healthy and constructive relationships between Suffolk’s future Police and Crime Commissioner & the most senior officers at Suffolk Police. Whilst there may be differences of opinions, the Commissioner and senior officers will be bound by common values. These are to protect all those who live, visit and work in Suffolk by reducing crime and the fear of crime, and striving to make Suffolk the safest county it can possibly be.

There are though many other ‘healthy and constructive relationships’ that are essential to this new role in the area of policing and crime. Ensuring victims are supported, tackling the causes of crime and addressing offending behaviour cannot be done by the police in isolation. Local Authorities, Crown Prosecution Service, Probation, Courts, Prisons, Social Care, Health, Housing agencies, Businesses, Voluntary and Community groups/individuals & others have a vital role.

It depends on your perspective but I believe that really healthy & constructive relationships are built on common values and mutual trust and respect. They must provide opportunities for challenge to the status quo, in order that differences can be effectively aired. There will always be conflicting opinions and priorities & that is not a new concept. It is however important that these newly emerging relationships are equal and that there is a focus on real outcomes for people and communities.

As for accountability, the message I am getting from the wide range of people I’ve been meeting across Suffolk – in both our towns and in our villages - is that they believe visible and real accountability by the Chief Constable to all Suffolk’s citizens is probably the best thing about the whole Commissioner idea.

Jane Basham
Labour Party Candidate
Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner

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