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New plans to make Suffolk safer

Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet will be discussing new proposals next  week  designed to make Suffolk a safer place to live in, work in and visit.

The draft Suffolk Fire and Rescue Authority Integrated Risk Management Plan for 2009/2010 includes nine actions which aim to reduce risk in the county through better use of resources and more accurate targeting of prevention, protection and response initiatives.

The proposed actions are to:
  • Increase  the home fire safety checks carried out by the Fire and Rescue Service in Suffolk
  • Increase the use of domestic sprinkler systems
  • Improve partnership working and commissioning
  • Improve the fire safety protection service, which enforces fire safety regulations in business premises
  • Increase the installation of sprinklers in industrial and commercial buildings, and in schools
  • Improve the way building regulations consultations are dealt with
  • Establish plans for new training facilities for the service
  • Improve the way we support retained duty system fire stations
  • Explore opportunities to create a number of Rural Safety Officers
Councillor Joanna Spicer, Suffolk County Council’s portfolio holder for Public Protection said: “We want to make sure that residents, employees and visitors are safe in Suffolk, which is why this sixth annual integrated risk management plan is so important.  It gives us a framework to improve the way we prevent, protect and respond to fires and other emergencies in the county.

“Improving home fire safety checks means that we would target the most vulnerable people in our communities, such as older people, and help them to improve fire safety in their homes, including fitting smoke detectors.  Improving the use of sprinklers is an effective way of reducing the impact of fires in houses, commercial properties and schools – a single sprinkler head can extinguish a fire and save lives.”

A Policy Development Panel is already in place to look at the effectiveness of the retained service and to identify and address issues to secure the future of the service over the next ten years.  The risk management plan identifies the need to review the outcomes of this work, including seeing if stand-by funding (used to ensure retained engines can be crewed) could be better used for other community safety activities, which are proven to prevent fires.

If the Cabinet agrees to the proposals, a 12 week period of public consultation on them will take place across the county.  This will include roadshows in town centres, where the public will be able to speak to fire and rescue officers and councillors about the action plan.

Motorcyclists Urged To Stay Safe

Suffolk Constabulary is reminding motorists, particularly motorcyclists to stay safe on Suffolk’s roads this bank holiday weekend.

With the weather warming up and with an extra day off this weekend, this may be the first opportunity that many motorcyclists will have to dust off their bikes and take them out onto the county’s roads.

As part of the Stay Safe initiative, officers from the Roads Policing Unit will also be taking to the road this weekend to issue advice and guidance to motorcyclists and to promote safe and responsible driving.

Reducing the number of collisions in the county is a key priority for Suffolk Police and its road safety partners.

During 2007, seven motorcyclists were killed on Suffolk’s roads, which equals 18 per cent of the total fatalities for the year and 81 motorcyclists were seriously injured.

Inspector Trevor Sharman from the Roads Policing Unit said: “Historically the first May bank holiday is a time when people get their bikes out for the first time. Often their vehicles have been sitting in the garage over the winter period and riders haven’t been out for many months.

“Over this bank holiday weekend, motorists can expect to see highly visible patrols by motorcycle officers. Their aim will be to speak to motorcyclists and give them advice and guidance in relation to road safety, and to promote safe and responsible driving.

“This weekend really is about education and to carry out checks on motorbikes to make sure they are roadworthy and that riders are wearing the correct protective clothing.

“We receive a number of complaints about motorcycles speeding and also being used in an anti-social manner. We hope that our presence will not only act as a deterrent but will also be a reassurance to local residents.”

Suffolk Constabulary will be working with road safety partners including Suffolk Safecam

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