Bury St Edmunds to gain new proactive ‘Kestrel’ Policing team

Two new area teams dedicated to community engagement and responding to emerging neighbourhood crime are now up and running.

The Neighbourhood Crime Proactive teams or ‘Kestrel’ teams will play an important role in supporting the force’s capability to dynamically deploy into particular areas for a period of time to target crime and engage with communities. The teams will support community and local policing priorities through community engagement, tackling criminality and dealing with anti-social behaviour.

The two new teams are each dedicated to a particular area – one will be based at Landmark House and cover the wider Ipswich area, while the second team will cover towns and villages in the west of Suffolk and be based at Bury St Edmunds.

The eastern area of Suffolk will be covered by the current Kestrel team that has been operating for over a year across the county and has been based at Eye. This team will now be based at Framlingham and concentrate solely on towns and villages in the east.

All three are made up of one sergeant and six PCs and are highly visible and uniformed teams, deployable across their respective area to any location in support of local policing. Over the past 14 months or so the countywide Kestrel team, has proved to be a significant point of contact for members of the public to engage with and provide intelligence that can be used for future operational activity and potential arrests.

Since forming in August 2020, the countywide team have conducted various deployments, engaging with residents, partner agencies and working alongside other local policing teams. It has been proactive in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour within local communities, offering both reassurance and a visible deterrent.

The two new teams tackle neighbourhood crime across county

Since Aug 2020 to Sept 2021 it has:

– Completed 1,103 hrs of hotspot patrols across the county

– Carried out 92 positive stop searches

– Submitted 2,221 intelligence reports

– Seized drugs to the value of approximately £33,000

– Made 66 arrests

– Seized 38 vehicles due to traffic offences

-Locate 9 missing people

Chief Supt Marina Ericson said: “It’s fantastic news for the people of Suffolk that we are getting these two new extra teams – they will be able to bolster engagement with communities and tackle criminality in key locations where issues are occurring. They will support local officers in that area to disrupt criminality and anti-social behaviour.

“They will engage with the community, providing feedback about policing activity to provide reassurance and improved visibility. We’ve had some excellent results from the countywide team over the past year and it’s been very satisfying to see the Kestrel model implemented so efficiently and effectively for the benefit of the community. Their hard work and productivity now gives us the confidence and knowledge to expand it with three dedicated Kestrel teams for the three policing areas of Suffolk.”

Police & Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “I am absolutely delighted to see the Kestrel initiative extended to three teams. These teams will swoop into areas where additional resource is required to deal with issues affecting communities, working alongside local policing teams. I know communities really appreciate this additional pro-active policing and the results so far, from just one team, speak for themselves.”

He added, “When I talk to local people, increased visibility and more foot patrols are often top of their wish-lists, so with this in mind, and with the proven success of the original Kestrel team, the initiative has been expanded. I hope this shows we are listening and acting on community concerns.

“The funding for the original Kestrel team came directly from the precept increase in last year’s budget. These two new teams will be funded partly by this year’s precept increase and partly by the Government’s Uplift programme. I wish all 21 officers involved in the Kestrel teams all the best.”