Last week we held our round of neighbourhood panel meetings and as usual there was good discussion around local policing and setting of our priorities. Some of this was reported in the local media including the statement
“Villages are a low priority for policing in Cambridgeshire due to a lack of resources, says a chief inspector for South Cambridgeshire.”
Whilst I appreciate the importance of the press and their work in publicising crime and holding the police to account, I also think that it is important to clarify for the record that I absolutely did not say that (nor is it attributed as a direct quote) and that is decidedly not my position. (All other quotes are accurate)
What I did do in the course of a long discussion about policing in the villages and visibility was state my position that I need to put my resources where they can make the most difference by targeting them at those streets that experience the most crime. However, all of these areas are within our villages, not the city. This does mean that some villages with very low crime rates will get less attention than those villages with more crime but I hope that you agree with me that that is a sensible approach to using valuable police resources. This is an approach based on something called ‘Evidenced Based Policing’ which we’ve discussed in the past and will hopefully talk about more in the future.
As your Area Commander, I am responsible for delivering policing within South Cambs, which means that villages are always my priority and will remain so for as long as I’m here. Over the last three years your local policing teams and I have put in a lot of effort and innovation to try to reduce crime in the villages (remember Op Oaklands, our ongoing Op Hunter events, the return of the RCAT and the bad-wolf-test, to name a few).
I hope that answers any question or concerns that you may have had but if not please do feel free to contact me directly.
Finally, please do sign up for our latest crime prevention event- the Spring Community Safety Day on Saturday 18th of March. I’ll be there along with many partner agencies. We’ve had a great response but places are still available- you can reserve your free spot online by visiting
Chief Inspector James Sutherland