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Police under criticism for waiting 12 hours to tell public about Chantry burglary

06:00 03 February 2016

The scene of the collision in Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, yesterday.

The scene of the collision in Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, yesterday.

Questions are being asked over why the public were not told about a serious firearms incident on Ipswich’s Chantry estate for 12 hours.

Three men forced their way into a house in Manchester Road at around 8.30pm on Monday and demanded money from the occupants, threatening them with a handgun.

The men then left the house, taking a quantity of cash and got away in what is described as a black BMW 1 Series towards Tesco, pursued by the victim.

The two vehicles were then involved in a collision on Hawthorn Drive, where the victim reported the offenders fired the gun before driving off. No one was injured.

A police cordon was put in place in Hawthorn Drive at the scene of the collision and alleged gunfire while officers searched for evidence of gunshots being fired.

The road was closed at the junction with Bridgwater Road until noon yesterday. Search teams did not find any casings or other evidence of gunfire.

Information about the incident was not released to the public until 9am yesterday, and councillors who represent the area said they were not contacted by police at all.

Ipswich borough councillor for the Sprites ward, Roger Fern, said he first learnt about the incident on Facebook yesterday morning.

He added: “I’m disappointed because it’s quite reasonable for local residents to think ‘I’ll ring Roger Fern and find out what’s going on’.

“It seems like a really regrettable incident and I have no idea of the cause, but if people are going around with firearms then that is very disturbing.”

Mr Fern said he attended a community lunch at a methodist church in Chantry yesterday and several residents were asking him what had happened, but he could only relay the information he read on social media.

He added: “I have lived here for 40 years and it is just completely out of the blue and I would like to think it’s a one-off incident.

“Judging by the number of police who were still there at 11.45am it is being treated as a very serious incident.”

Suffolk county councillor, Peter Gardiner, who represents the Chantry division, said he was concerned by the lack of communication from police.

He added: “It’s strange because in the past where there has been a similar incident I have received a call from police who have told me that they were investigating the case and there was no need for immediate alarm in the neighbourhood and looking at the news, I would have thought I would have had a similar call on this incident.

“Speaking as a county councillor, I have been contacted in the past and given reassurance that it was an one-off incident or not to be alarmed so if we are contacted by the public we can give them that message.”

Mr Gardiner said his fellow county councillor for the Chantry division, Helen Armitage, was also not contacted.

Bob Hall, Ipswich borough councillor for the Sprites ward, said: “It’s a shame that these people can threaten the lives of innocent people on this housing estate.

“The sooner these people are caught and dealt with in full extent of the law the better and safer it will be for ordinary, law-abiding residents.”

Detective Inspector Matthew Connick, of the Ipswich Criminal Investigation Department, said police were pursuing a number of lines of enquiry to identify the suspects.

He added: “I would like to reassure local residents that we are treating this as a serious isolated incident, which we believe to be targeted, and as such do not believe there is any threat to the wider community.

“Reports of hearing gunshots fired are understandably alarming, but we have not as yet found any proof that live ammunition was involved.”

Anyone who saw or heard anything that may assist police with their enquires, and in particular the black BMW, should contact Ipswich CID on 101 quoting reference 15452/16 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Why did it take so long? The police response

“This was a serious incident to which police were quick to respond, deploying armed response units to locate offenders and both response and CID officers to carry out enquiries and to ensure the victims were supported and kept safe. People living in the immediate vicinity were updated by officers at the scene.

“Public safety and protection is paramount and our officers regularly have to make critical decisions based on limited information, balancing public safety with preventing unnecessary panic and alarm.

“On this occasion, based on the information available at the time and with no known risk to the wider public, a decision was taken to issue a public appeal once the full facts were established.

“The incident is being treated as an isolated and targeted attack and a full investigation is underway.”

‘At no point was there a public safety issue’

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, said: “Having been made aware of this situation this morning I immediately asked the deputy chief constable to update me on this issue. It is a critical part of my role as PCC to represent the public interest and provide reassurance whenever necessary.

“I have been reassured that the constabulary dealt with this incident effectively at the time and at no point was there a public safety issue although I appreciate communications about the incident could have been better.”

Description of the three male suspects

- Man one: black, 6ft tall, slim, aged in his mid 30s, with a beard and short Afro hair. He was wearing a high-visibility jacket

- Man two: mixed race, 5ft 9in – 5ft 10in tall, stocky, aged in his 20s. He was wearing a rolled-up balaclava covering his forehead and a black hooded top

- Man three: black and wearing a full balaclava

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24 comments

  • Well Deeber, the course of democracy, like love, never did run smooth. The ancient Greeks no sooner adopted democratic forms than they invented ways for its' corruption . All the usual tricks, personation, ballot box stuffing, even providing the largely illiterate voters with a posh custom made voting ceramic, Instead of their own choice scratched out of the black glaze on a pottery shard. Of course they told the voter that the token had the voters' choice on it whereas it had the name of the corrupters choice! So it goes. I like the idea of independent candidates but it must be difficult for them without party support to help with the election campaigns against party candidates with a powerful political organisation behind them. All part of the process of developing democratic forms. You were kind enough to remind us all of another real danger with elected PCCs, the awful prospect of someone like Jane Barsham getting the job! The horror the horror!! In that event I am going to form The Absolute Monarchy Party. It's just got to better than her!

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Thursday, February 4, 2016

  • Yes gobby , Cameron used a similar speech to that at the tory party conference and the article I read highlighted the comparison to Blairs tough on crime speech...( independent 7th Oct 2015 ).. I cannot comment on the new independent met officer as I have not had chance to read his views...however I think mixing political views with such an important role is the wrong way to go about it... Commissioners might be the best way forward and as I have stated I believe in democracy and Mr Passmore was not the peoples first choice.. Jane basham actually beat him on votes he got in by the second count system as neither reached the required 50% .... highlighted last night on the news the Norfolk PCC and the The chief of Police are at odds over finances with the PCC not wanting an increase in funding he is an independent. ... If we only let independents stand in that role with no party allegiance then it makes much more sense to me.. stoke park councillor the tory opposition leader of IBC clearly sways her political opionion for Mr Passmore even tho he must take some of the responsibility here on the poor communications stated above he even states " I appreciate that communications about the incident could have been better".. .

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Thursday, February 4, 2016

  • Deeber, I remember when Blair coined the tough on tough on slogan before he even won office. Yes Cameron promises to be tough on crime, but that slogan was Blair's. The police were in the process of being heavily politicised during the Labour years and elected commissioners are a good way of reversing that process and stopping that happening again. Contrast the way the Met brutally clubbed the countryside commission marchers when there was no real danger of major disorder, with the softly softly approach to the Gangsta riots that broke out in Tottenham in 2014. A number of people actually died and many more where lucky to escape burning buildings with there lives. (The BBC even called these criminals 'protesters!!). I can see the advantages of having a 'independent' PPCs in order to maintain no-political policing but whatever type of candidates we have there will be issues, The independent who is standing is an ex-policeman. Yes he has a very good record and is no doubt very aware of all the current issues with policing like child safety and so but there is also a danger of having ex-policeman having oversight of policing. The solution? In the end It's the electors call.

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Thursday, February 4, 2016

  • Just to echo what others have said really, The police have an incredibly difficult job to do as it is without all the political interference and self important personalities that want to make their mark in all of this. The police know what their doing and would be able to do it a lot more effectively if people left them to get on with it. This whole mantra of being held to account is just a smokescreen for finding someone else to blame when things go wrong and the police make an easy target in recent times.

    Report this comment

    Brad26

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Does it really matter that there was no press release until the next morning? This is just a storm in a tea cup by a local rag stirring up trouble when there's none to be had, approaching tame councillors who have an over-inflated sense of their importance for some rent-a-quotes. Double jackpot for the Star - get the story and a chance to bash the local police as well. Pathetic.

    Report this comment

    Bewildered

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Please do not take my comment as fact. Perhaps the Police withheld the info because they knew that if it was released immediately the crime scene would be flooded with a 1000 little chav gangsters all intent on showing off, and of course potentially contaminating any evidence. Or perhaps the Police already knew of problems with this matter before and knew the perpetrators were long gone.

    Report this comment

    richie w

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Poppy's dad. Take a look at the article. Was it me moaning about not being told. no! I had no issue with it. I was just explaining that if Tim Passmore was not told, it was up to him to deal direct with the police. I then explained what councillors can do in a situation like this. At no time did I moan about the police not informing us. Roger Fern and fellow labour councillor did this. Bob Hall a conservative did not and nor have I. Instead of red mist, read properly and get off your high horse. We were not told until the next day in the afternoon not 9 o'clock and I was happy with that. However Tim should've been told sooner as he is the point of contact for such things. I think some of you don't understand his role. He is not responsible for operation and is not out of his depth. He is responsible for making them accountable to the public and for budget. He does not need to explain police operations. That is the polices job. He was also the one that saved Norfolk and suffolk police operation centres from being merged because that is in his remit. He has done a great job and so do the police. I moan about nothing except those who moan about everything! You want me to get off my high horse on that subject, guilty as charged!

    Report this comment

    Stokeparkcllr

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • PCC is a joke. The police did correctly. They avoided saying it, but passing on the news relayed quickly through mobile phones and social media would "tip off" the suspects. This is why they kept it quiet. 1 in 4 people on the estate has a drug dealer, loan shark, or pimp; it was high risk. I think jimboc88's comment (may have been overlooked) hits the nail on the head - read the BBC Suffolk article much more detailed with photos - if I was a betting man I would put my money on it being London related. If there were the 3 or so gunshots, it wouldn't be the victim family calling the police about the incident but frightened residents reporting gun shots.... people would panic and communicate with friends and family about it, word would get around within the hour. I doubt the suspects were professionals - silencer? Well, no reported bullet holes... no one will fire a silenced gun in the air, what is the point?! I doubt any were fired. The victim isn't incriminating themselves any further, the police are unlikely to solve this one, so their next step is to reassure the public that the area, town and county is safe... the fact it is very far from that. But we are paying them to follow the procedure...

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • You are correct gobby wrong slogan camerons was a tough line on crime ..sorry.. The only thing wrong with having a PCC is its a politically motivated job. A tory councillor carrying out tory cuts.... I would prefer an independent such as the new challenger to Mr passmore as he has the vital experience that's needed.. If I had a Flood in my house I would probably call a plumber first .. If I had an issue with the police I doubt I would talk to an experienced pig farmer as Mr Passmore is.. There is no doubt he is a nice bloke but he is way out of his depth regarding police issues... but you have to ask a serious question here is that the star is going on about the public not being told for 12 hours about the on going issue but the fact that the PCC the man in charge of the police was not informed either is surely a more serious issue... however surely we should just let the police do their job first.

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • They may have valid reason, based upon what they know, for not contacting the world and his dog to let them know about this incident as soon as it happened. As the old saying goes, time will tell!

    Report this comment

    SilentM

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Deeber, it was Blair's slogan. In concrete terms of course it meant go soft on the crims and come down hard on the motorist. Mr Passmore might not be that good for all I know but at least you can vote on his performance. I understand that there is an independent with a very good record intending to stand next time. So you can vote for him due to one of the very few truly progressive policies introduced by the Tories(and LDs at the time). I think that with an incident like this which is in the first division of crime, the police should have acted quicker to inform the public as to what 's going on. To reassure the public that the situation is under control and they are keeping a sharp lookout for people who look like they are about to shoot people in their own homes. I suspect they didn't because the felt they had to take soundings from local politicians and 'Community Leaders'( whatever they are!!!). After all, there might be bigger issues involved here than mere public safety(sark sark).

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Nobody from any other organisation would have done anything before 9am the next morning , which is the time they were told. So get off your high hosre stokeparkllr . The police decide on what to do and when to do it. The senior officer on call would have been advised of the incident within an hour of 8.30pm. The decision made was correct, no member of the public was at risk of anything as the so called robbers had made good their escape in a car. No House to house enquiries would be done until the next morning either. Leave the Police to do their job.... Tim Passmore didn't need to know either, he takes no part in ongoing incidents or decision making around incidents. Always love it how people criticise when they inow NOTHING about it or have another axe to grind !

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • On a personal note ..stoke park councillor I don't snipe in fact I am actually behind Mark Lings attempt to have a unitary Ipswich ..now I know Mark is a conservative but what he is doing for the town is quite remarkable for a busy person.. already he has got the broom hill pools turned around and now he is trying to put right years of torture with the Stupid continual fighting between SCC and IBC .. this town has suffered terribly because of their petulant wars.. The P&R debacle highlighted the differences still in the so called vision group... Open your eyes wider Ms cenci ..this town is in a mess and needs drastic changes unlike You I never just back one horse , I actually favour ukip if I was honest as I would like us to leave the European dogma but I see good and bad in all political party's..

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Thanks Deebar. At least you've made some good points this time. Happy to engage. I think you have a good point about Tim not being told so late and I think he needs to take this up with the police. This is not his fault. He was told roughly same time as us. Bob hall an email the next day and then contacted me. I also agree that this was probably an isolated incident of which we do get them time to time. I certainly would not have encouraged my group to knock on doors that very evening. That's the polices job but we can certainly do a follow up with agreement of police to give updates and reassure. I did this myself when there were arson attacks in Stoke park and it was useful to both sides. Tim May talk for England but his actions are robust and he is readily available as a conduit people and police. That's what counts, that's his job but police chief is responsible for operations and results on those ops. Tim is the main person in which to hold them accountable so of course he passes it on the chief in public. They have a mouth and voice and need to explain themselves, not through Tim!

    Report this comment

    Stokeparkcllr

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Well stoke park councillor this issue was so important and obviously the PCC has his finger on the button he actual states the first he heard of it was the next morning ! ... and if he did know before why didn't he ring the councillors ? It could have been a false alarm so why would councillors knock on doors at after 8.30 at night to talk to the public... The whole story has been blown way out of proportion there are many regular heinous crimes committed regularly in the town, that rarely need councillors banging on doors to talk to the public... The simple fact is the present government whose motto was" tough on crime and the causes of crime " have cut the police force down to the bare bones.. and have lost the publics confidence on law and order... I attended Mr Passmore meeting once and saw first light how poor he was in his job .. He just kept passing the baton to the police chief beside him.. total waffle at times... I believe in democracy and if a PCC is the order of the day then I will probably vote for the retired police candidate once I read what he has to say.. but it seems I am not the only one who think the tories have lost it on law and order..

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Probably took 12 hours because they were doing their job investigating what happened and ensuring there was no further harm to public. How about people stop giving the force unnecessary stress and added work by having to respond things like this and let them use their time productively, investigating matters!!

    Report this comment

    ga1991

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Sorry got cut off. If some of you actually engaged with Tim, you would find this out for yourself. and instead of generalising about any party, go and speak to people face to face at .area committees instead of sniping at the sidelines on every single thing that ever happens in this town.

    Report this comment

    Stokeparkcllr

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Deeber do you ever stop moaning about anything that is remotely Tory? And do you even ever bother to find out the facts before giving your very regular pearls of wisdom of which many are the subject of your personal attacks. How about trying to contribute to actual debate in the important matters. You're not the only one on here that does that may I add. Firstly councillors can help a lot in an incident like this, by liaising with police and knocking on residents doors to reassure, meeting with police and crime commissioner and hold public meetings if appropriate. Tim does a fab job and has helped my residents often. His mobile number is easily available and although he can't interfere with operations, he makes the police more accountable and give a kick when needed. And he does this well. He also is in charge of budget so can decide where this is best spent and can hire, fire the chief. So have Perhaps if some of you actually engaged in

    Report this comment

    Stokeparkcllr

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Passmore is just a mouthpiece for the police. He doesn't provide any leadership so is a waste of space. Does anyone know who pulls the strings in our local Tory cabal? Perhaps they just muddle through as there doesn't seem to be an idea or plan from any of them.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Well Deeber at least you will have the chance to vote Mr Passmore out of office, unlike the politically motivated appointees the Labourites want to impose on us. Electing Police Commissioners is a very democratic ideal and a democratic right that the British people need to take on board. Engaging in and taking responsibility for important public issues. It is quite common in more advanced countries. The big mistake was having a separate polling day for them, A very silly idea that I suspect was an attempted sabotage by LibLabLeftie civil servants who think they should make all the decisions on public issues. I think most sensible people will know just why the information was delayed but the truth will undoubtedly be considered to 'other' to be discussed in a comic the Star has become. It might upset the kiddies.

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Deeber - replace him by who or what ? Labour wanted to abolish Pcc's altogether. Are they going to put a candidate up against him? Only potential opponent so far is a retired Met copper ?

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Let the police do their job first !.. biggest question mark on this report is Mr Passmore claiming to represent the public interest.. since when does he listen to the public ? ...the guy is way out of his depth on most issues.. hopefully he will be voted out soon.

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Councillors don't need to know before the public. Always willing to criticise others but don't like it when they are ! If they had told them 10 minutes after the robbery what difference would it have made ?

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Passmore couldn't run a game of solataire the police couldn't catch a cold and its all sounding a bit like it was a water pistol used on some wanabe gangster from chantry by typically some unknowns from London.

    Report this comment

    jimboc88

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

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