Christmas message from Tim Passmore

It really doesn’t seem that long ago we were celebrating Christmas 2018 but now as we approach this festive period and the new year, my mind once again turns to thoughts of friends and families, and renewing old acquaintances. This is an ideal time to reflect on the last twelve months and for looking forward with a sense of purpose and renewal.

This year my Christmas message focusses on how to develop further that sense of belonging and community spirit that Suffolk is so good at. It is sad that our country has become so divided over the last few years. Healthy disagreement is generally a sign of a well-functioning democracy, but there is never an excuse for uncivilised language, intimidation or lack of respect for others’ views and opinions. Perhaps now the election is out of the way we can work extra hard to come back together. I firmly believe any politician who is victorious must show magnanimity and compassion to those who have lost and remember nearly all individuals have ideas and suggestions that merit full and proper consideration.

Personally, I believe the sense of community fits very well with the Christmas message. I have always said how proud I am of my Suffolk heritage and how, as a county, we do have a deserved reputation for working well together and pooling resources for the greater good – in fact you could say for the whole community; this was part of the message I heard at a carol service recently. And yet there is also an opportunity to do more within the county to develop that community spirit.

In my role as your Police and Crime Commissioner I have been very privileged to see at first hand how so many people give their all to support their communities. Earlier this year I was humbled by the generosity of many people who contributed to our new Youth Intervention Fund, which raised in total around £250K to support organisations working with young people, especially those who are in difficult and vulnerable situations. My office allocated £80K to this fund and Suffolk Community Foundation built this up to £257K with the support of private donations. A fantastic achievement and one that will make a huge difference to young people right across the county.

Public support in the form of volunteers giving their time to support others is the backbone of countless community projects – for example individuals that support the isolated and lonely in our remote villages, running youth clubs and a variety of sports clubs for all ages. Without the dedication of those that volunteer these lifelines would not exist and the impact would be felt by our emergency services, I have no doubt.

Christmas is a time to thank the emergency services for their commitment and service to keeping our community safe. I am sure you will all join me in thanking the emergency service staff who are available every hour of every day and as a result many of them will have to reorganise their family arrangements over the festive period to look after us.

We should all be thankful Suffolk is a safe place in which to live and work and remember there are many other places that do not, for a variety of reasons, share our good fortune.

Looking forward to 2020, as we make our New Year’s resolutions, can we at least think about doing a little more volunteering to maintain that community spirit? If you have a little or a lot of time to give there will be an organisation in the county that will benefit hugely from your support whatever you have time to do.

I will close by wishing you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas and a prosperous new year.


Tim Passmore 

Suffolk’s Police & Crime Commissioner