Suffolk Constabulary

Suffolk Constabulary is the territorial police force responsible for policing Suffolk in East Anglia, England.

Suffolk Constabulary
Suffolk Constabulary.png
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionSuffolk, UK
England Police Forces (Suffolk).svg
Map of Suffolk Constabulary's jurisdiction.
Size3,801 km²
Operational structure
Sworn members1,150 (of which 143 are Special Constables) [1]
Police and Crime Commissioner responsible
Agency executives
Areas2 (Eastern, Western)

Suffolk Constabulary is responsible for policing an area of 939,510 acres (3,802 km2), with a population of 678,074 and 288,473 households. The area covered is principally rural and coastal and the force has two territorial areas: Eastern and Western. The Eastern Area HQ is at Halesworth, the Western Area HQ at Bury St Edmunds. Each area is divided into sectors, with boundaries matching those of local district or borough councils. There are a total of 14 sectors across the county, each commanded by an inspector or chief inspector.

It was previously overseen by a police authority consisting of nine councillors, three justices of the peace and five independent members, but in common with other English and Welsh forces outside London is now responsible to a Police and Crime Commissioner. The current Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner is Tim Passmore of the Conservative Party.

Steve Jupp is the current Chief Constable and has been in role since the 10th of April 2019.


Air Operations UnitEdit

The National Police Air Service (NPAS) currently operates the helicopter from Wattisham Airfield serving Suffolk and East Anglia. However the NPAS announced in February 2015 that Suffolk's police helicopter base is set to close with plans for 10 bases to be closed across the country to take effect in the 2016/2017 financial year. This will then leave Boreham near Chelmsford as the closest base to Suffolk.

Dog sectionEdit

As part of continued savings for Suffolk Constabulary, In 2011 the Suffolk and Norfolk Constabularies dogs sections collaborated. The new unit consists of 25 Police Constable dog handlers and overseen by two Police Sergeants and an Inspector.

The unit uses Home Office licensed general purpose dogs that are either German Shepherds or Belgium Malinois. In addition a number of handlers operate specialist search dogs capable of detecting either cash, drugs, firearms or explosives. For this role the Constabulary uses a number of breeds including Spaniels and Labradors.

Roads policingEdit

A Roads Policing Volvo

Officers part of the Traffic Police are responsible for the policing the two main road networks in Suffolk, the A14 and the A12, in addition to the county's highways. The department uses Automatic Number Plate Recognition on many of the unit's vehicles to reduce vehicle crime, including identifying vehicles without relevant documents or insurance. The unit also conducts targeted campaigns to increase public awareness of dangers on the road, these are divided into five main elements from the National Roads Policing Strategy:

  • Reducing the number of road casualties.
  • Denying criminals use of the roads.
  • Preventing anti-social use of motor vehicles.
  • Enhancing public confidence and reassurance by patrolling the county's roads.
  • Countering terrorism.
Two vehicles of Suffolk Constabulary responding to an emergency call

Firearms unitEdit

The firearms unit in Suffolk Police is known as the Tactical Firearms Unit (TFU) made up Authorised Firearms Officers (AFO) and also have a specialist rifle team. The TFU are trained in conflict management and method of entry, they are trained to use specialist equipment to gain quick entry into properties and regularly assist with search warrants.


  • Glock 17 self-loading pistol
  • G36 Carbine
  • TMR1 7.62mm rifle
  • Heckler & Koch 5.56 mm rifle
  • Remington pump action shotgun.

A more recent addition is the Heckler and Koch baton gun. This fires a 'plastic baton round' and provides officers with a less lethal option.

TFU officers also have the X26 Taser available for deployment as another less lethal option. The Taser operates by discharging two barbs, which attach to the clothing, or penetrate the skin of the person. This creates a circuit through which 50000 volts of electricity is passed causing temporary incapacitation.


WWII pass from East Suffolk Constabulary allowing Bungay-living Miss Daphne Raikes, the Beccles & District War Memorial Hospital physiotherapist, to visit patients in the local wartime-protected Suffolk coastal area.

The force formed from the merger of West Suffolk Constabulary and East Suffolk Constabulary. Those forces had previously been merged in 1869 and the split again in 1899.[citation needed] The most recent merger took place in 1967, which also saw the Ipswich borough police merged.[citation needed]

In 2006 Suffolk Constabulary merged the role of traffic warden with that of PCSO. Those traffic wardens that did not wish to pursue this role either retired or took employment elsewhere.[citation needed]

Proposals announced by the then Home Secretary Charles Clarke on 20 March 2006 would have seen the force merge with neighbouring forces Norfolk Constabulary and Cambridgeshire Constabulary to form a strategic police force for East Anglia.[2] However, the proposals were later abandoned.

Chief ConstablesEdit

Notable investigationsEdit

Suffolk Constabulary gained widespread attention in December 2006, when it began to investigate the murder of five women working as prostitutes in the Ipswich area.[6] The murders generated media interest both nationally and internationally.[7][8][9] The inquiry was the largest mounted by Suffolk Police in its history.[10]

The disappearance of Corrie McKeague launched another unusually large investigation, involving officers from other constabularies and civilian volunteers.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "FOI Officer Numbers". Suffolk Constabulary. December 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Police forces 'to be cut to 24'". BBC News. 20 March 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  3. ^ "Chief Police Officers". House of Commons. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Goldwater, William H.; Gough, Michael (1998). "Freedom of Information request". Science. 282: 1823. Bibcode:1998Sci...282.1823G. doi:10.1126/science.282.5395.1823e. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Suffolk Police chief constable retires after 'year of sick leave'". BBC. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Suffolk killer will die in prison". BBC News. 21 February 2008. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  7. ^ "One of serial killer's five victims was pregnant". Sydney Morning Herald. 17 December 2006. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  8. ^ "British Police close to solving murders of prostitutes". Zee News. 17 December 2006. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  9. ^ "British Police Identify 5th Victim of Serial Prostitute Killer". Fox News. 15 December 2006. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  10. ^ Summers, Chris (13 December 2006). "The task facing vice murders squads". BBC News. Retrieved 3 April 2011.