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New teamwork aims to tackle gang violence on the streets of Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 12:14 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:49 01 November 2017

Jubilee Park is one of the areas of Ipswich that has suffered from gang violence - prompting an increased police presence. Picture: ARCHANT

Jubilee Park is one of the areas of Ipswich that has suffered from gang violence - prompting an increased police presence. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A new action plan to tackle the problem of drugs gangs from London working on the streets of Ipswich has been agreed by local councils and Suffolk Police.

Paul WestPaul West

And a new post to co-ordinate the work of the county and borough councils along with the police is being created to crack down on teenage drug-dealers in the town.

The publication of a report on gang violence in the town in September came shortly after a number of knife-related crimes.

It identified gangs operating in the Jubilee Park area of Ipswich between London Road and Bramford Road and in the Nacton Road areas of the town.

Suffolk’s cabinet member for Ipswich Paul West said that since the publication of the report the three authorities had been working hard to try to involve local communities in tackling the problems.

The police had been working with schools and youth groups to try to improve intelligence. The county’s youth offending teams had been paying special attention to the problems in these parts of the county town – and the borough’s area committees had discussed the challenges faced by different communities.

Mr West said: “All the authorities have been working on these projects and we have drawn up an action plan that has just been agreed and should be published very soon.

“But we feel it would be good to have all the work co-ordinated centrally which is why the county is funding a manager to co-ordinate the implementation of this plan across all the authorities and communities involved.”

A job application for the manager’s position has just been posted on the Suffolk Jobs Direct website – the role will be for two years on a salary of between £41,000 and £47,500.

It was very important to co-ordinate the work of the various authorities, but Mr West knew there were no easy solutions.

He said: “We know that for many people the only real success will be when there are no teenage drug dealers working in Ipswich – and that should be the ultimate goal.

“But we know that this is not just an issue for Ipswich. There are similar problems in towns and cities throughout the south of England with people moving out of London. Just recently there were reports about problems in Yeovil and Taunton in the south west.”

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