New Special Constabulary team launched to fight town centre crime

Police ENGSUS00120130402110851
Police ENGSUS00120130402110851

A new Special Constabulary team is being launched this weekend to help combat retail crime in town centres across west Suffolk.

The dedicated Specials Retail Crime Team will support Suffolk Police’s town centre officers and enhance links between Suffolk’s retail communities and the police in the western area, highlighting the importance of the Special Constabulary.

The new team will also provide visible reassurance to the public coming to shop in our towns as well as the retail businesses, supplementing the existing local area patrol officers.

Western area Special Superintendent Matt Bennington, said: “This specialist team highlights the pivotal role the Special Constabulary now plays in local policing and the excellent level of training given, enabling Specials to take on key initiatives such as this.”

Inspector Mark Shipton, of the western area Operational Partnership Team, added: “Retail communities and businesses face distinct types of crime traditionally found in town centres, where specialised knowledge and dedicated patrols can achieve real results.

“Examples of these crimes include shoplifting, purse thefts and street drinking, along with a mix of anti-social behaviour incidents.”

The team will be led by Special Inspector Anne-Marie Short, who believes that this “is an excellent opportunity for members of the Special Constabulary to support the retail community.”

Special Inspector Short’s team will be comprised of one Special Sergeant and thirteen Special Constables. They will be based in Bury St Edmunds, but able to deploy to other towns across St Edmundsbury, Forest Heath, Mid Suffolk and Babergh.

The Specials Retail Crime Team will be officially launched on Saturday, June 27, at 11am, on Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds.