New police chief pledges “no cuts” in Beccles, Bungay and Halesworth

THERE will be no reduction in the number of police officers patrolling the streets, the new police chief for the area pledged this week.

However, Inspector Nick Aitken admitted that Suffolk Constabulary, along with other police forces across the country, was having to face up to tough financial pressures.

Insp Aitken is the new policing commander for the Beccles area which also includes, Bungay, Halesworth and Southwold.

He is also responsible for officers covering Leiston, Saxmundham, Aldeburgh and Framlingham.

Speaking this week, he said he was well aware of people’s concerns but assured that communities would continue to receive a high level of service.

He manages and co-ordinates the safer neighbourhood teams, which are based at local police stations, and response officers, who are briefed at Halesworth before being sent out to cover their various patches.

The 41-year-old, who has been with the force for 17 years and used to work in Lowestoft, said: “I know people are worried about response times and the number of officers on patrol but I can assure them that they won’t be affected. The number of PCs and PCSOs patrolling the streets will not change – that has been a promise.”

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He said he was aware of the good work already carried out by local police officers – such as the recent crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Leiston – and pledged that this would continue.

“It is very much business as usual,” he said. “We have a team of very experienced and dedicated officers and we will continue to tackle the issues that concern people the most.

“Our next focus will be surrounding Hallowe’en and work on that is already under way.”