Newly created South Norfolk policing role hopes to connect communities once again

South Norfolk Engagement Officer Jim Squires. ANL-161213-162905001
South Norfolk Engagement Officer Jim Squires. ANL-161213-162905001

A South Norfolk policeman appointed a newly formed engagement role hopes he can be the link to towns and villages in our area and recreate a ‘community connection’.

PC Jim Squires, who has been in the police for 20 years and a former beat manager in Diss, has been made South Norfolk Engagement Officer. The role, which will see PC Squires building links with local communities and groups, was recently created following a successful three-month trial in King’s Lynn. Each of the seven districts in Norfolk will have their own engagement officer.

My job is to ensure there is two-way communication

South Norfolk Engagement Officer Jim Squires

PC Squires, who lives in South Norfolk, told the Diss Express: “I want to know which hard to reach groups are out there. If people think I can be of benefit to them, to assist them, go and meet with them, be their link to the police, then that’s my job.

“It is just about getting back that communication that we had when I was here in Diss ten years ago. We were always meeting parish councils and that seemed to stop. It’s about bringing it back — and to coin a phrase, my job is to empower the community to have their say on the way we conduct our business.

“My job is to ensure there is two-way communication.”

PC Squires said people’s concerns expressed at street surgeries in South Norfolk were mainly based around speeding.

He said beat managers would go away with the information from these street surgeries in three month periods, and publicise the results in newsletters to all parishes.

He also revealed they had received a boost from Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green, who passed a bid to buy more speed detection equipment for the district.

“Street surgeries are there to get the views of local people, for us for then to go away and act upon over a three-month period,” he explained.

His role also sees him involved with the Special Constabulary, Police Support Volunteers, Neighbourhood Watch, Community Speedwatch and community engagement.

He is contactable 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday on 01953 423773 or 07766 990811. He can also be emailed on squiresjr@norfolk.pnn.police.uk. Keep up to date on Twitter @SouthNorfPolice and on Facebook at the South Norfolk Police