Police crack down on vehicle crime in north east Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 15:42 21 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:00 21 January 2016
Police in north east Ipswich have cracked down on car crime after a spike in incidents last summer.
Latest figures revealed by Suffolk police at the Ipswich Borough Council north east Ipswich area committee meeting revealed that vehicle crime was at its lowest since June last year, and significantly lower than the peak of incidents in August.
From June to August last year, the number of incidents in the Bixley, Rushmere and St Johns wards increased from less than 10 per month to around 26, but since then officers have put in place a host of measures to crack down on the problem.
PC Gareth Northwood from the north east Ipswich safer neighbourhood team said: “In direct response to the increase in August 2015, local officers targeted the problem of vehicle crime.
“We analysed the areas that the crime was occurring and focussed our patrols, issued crime reduction leaflets and spoke to local residents.”
Officers in the area noticed opportunistic attempts made to access vehicles, with those unlocked making it easier for suspects to take items or cause criminal damage.
PC Northwood added: “The main issue was that vehicle owners were leaving them unlocked, allowing opportunist thieves to strike.
“But after our efforts the community responded excellently and we saw a significant decrease in vehicles being left insecure, which is turn lowered vehicle crime figures.”
The crimes have largely been criminal damage of theft from vehicles, but vehicle crime also includes more serious crimes such as taking without consent and other road crimes.
As part of the drive, officers have explained the importance of keeping cars locked and making sure valuables are not in sight.
The figures have resulted in a general downwards trend since the end of 2014 when around 26 incidents were being recorded per month.