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Councillor slams 'roundabout' of town police chiefs

Wednesday, 14th April 2010.

A senior local councillor has dubbed the frequent changes of police chief in Haverhill in recent years a 'roundabout' and called for it to be stopped.

The current top officer at Haverhill, Insp Andrew Mason, this week moves on to a post in Ipswich and is being replaced by Insp Chris Galley from Bury St Edmunds.

Insp Galley will be the sixth police chief Haverhill has had in the last seven years, and town councillors recently told Insp Mason at a town council meeting that they were very disappointed he was leaving.

Insp Mason's departure is part of a structural shake-up across the whole of Suffolk, up to chief superintendent level.

Insp Galley will be the inspector based at Haverhill, and responsible only for the town's Safer Neighbourhood Team but with that of the southern rural area of the division added to his duties.

Other parts of the current inspector's role will be taken over by a rota of five inspectors based in Bury St Edmunds.

Last night Haverhill Town Councillors discussed their response to Suffolk Police Authority's three-year plan, and wanted to register their dissatisfaction with the record of continual changeover at Haverhill.

Cllr Anne Gower, who is also a St Edmundsbury borough and Suffolk county councillor, said the plan made no mention of avoiding 'the roundabout of senior officers in this town'.

She said: "We don't want to have an inspector here for six months and then lose him."

Town clerk Gordon Mussett pointed to part of the current county policing pledge which said: "Staffing turnover will be minimised." Members thought that was a pledge which was certainly not being kept in Haverhill.

Cllr Gower suggested a copy of the town council's comments should be sent to another of Haverhill's Suffolk county councillors, Tim Marks, as he is also a member of Suffolk Police Authority.

Cllr Maureen Byrne had concerns about the constabulary's three-year plan because there was no mention in it of specialist support for dealing with issues of domestic violence.

"I am really concerned and disappointed," she said, "because we are led to believe the police have specialist teams of domestic violence support workers and yet there is no mention of any in Suffolk at all, although there is lots of support for all sorts of other issues."

Haverhill Online News

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