Shoplifting and anti-social behaviour are the core issues that are being tackled by Ipswich's newly strengthened street security team.

Ipswich Central, The Business Improvement District for Ipswich town centre, has added a third member to its street security team who is from a security organisation called My Local Bobby to tackle issues like shoplifting.

The team regularly patrols the streets, working in collaboration with Suffolk Police and the local authority for anti-social behaviour.

The group of three responds to calls radioed in from town centre businesses and the police.

They make citizen arrests if necessary and private prosecution can be done through My Local Bobby.

Ipswich Star: The street ranger team has been strengthened as they work to tackle issues including shoplifting and anti social behaviour in Ipswich,The street ranger team has been strengthened as they work to tackle issues including shoplifting and anti social behaviour in Ipswich, (Image: Charlotte Bond, Newsquest)

While out on patrol with security team member Curtis Garrett, he explained the importance of dealing with anti-social behaviour.

“It is a pretty significant issue, especially towards Carr Street and Tavern Street. Shoplifting is a big problem along with street drinking and begging mainly.” He said.

Ipswich Star: Curtis Garrett is a member of the street ranger's team.Curtis Garrett is a member of the street ranger's team. (Image: Charlotte Bond, Newsquest)

“Our role is really important. Any of the shops we help will tell you. When the police are so stretched we are here to support them.” He added

The latest crime figures show that across the whole of Suffolk shoplifting is a major issue. 

In the last year shoplifting cases have risen in Ipswich by 15%, while East Suffolk saw the biggest rise in shoplifting cases at 43% and West Suffolk saw a rise of 13%. 

The cost of living crisis has been blamed as a major factor behind the increases in these crimes. 

During the patrol, a call came down the radio from TK Maxx about two known shoplifters who had been banned from the shop in the area.

The store did not need assistance in the end and during the hour patrol we watched the team stop into Deichmann to review some CCTV to possibly pass it on to the police.

Ipswich Star: Adam Banard is the newest member of the Ipswich Central street ranger team.Adam Banard is the newest member of the Ipswich Central street ranger team. (Image: Charlotte Bond, Newsquest)

The new member of the group is Adam Barnard who previously spent seven years working for the Metropolitan Police.

He iterated the importance of tackling antisocial issues and stressed the significance of street drinking as one of the main factors causing the problems.

Sophie Alexander-Parker, chief operating officer at Ipswich Central, said: “Community safety has and will always be a key priority for Ipswich central and we know that our patrols in Ipswich are a deterrent for criminals and offer reassurance for shoppers and visitors.

Ipswich Star: Adam and Curtis on patrol in Ipswich Town Centre.Adam and Curtis on patrol in Ipswich Town Centre. (Image: Charlotte Bond, Newsquest)

“Introducing the knowledge and training of My Local Bobby will further enhance that feeling of safety in and around Ipswich town centre, learning from the great work they already do in other urban areas of the UK.

"Street Security will be strengthened in Ipswich town centre thanks to this partnership."

My Local Bobby CEO David McKelvey added: "We are incredibly proud to be working with Ipswich Central to create a safer community and to eliminate the fear of crime.

"Working in partnership, My Local Bobby has reduced crime and anti-social behavior on every beat that we operate and more importantly has made residents, business and the public feel safe. 

"We intend to work closely with Ipswich Central, the retailers, Council and Police to achieve similar success locally."

Mr McKelvey explained the local team works on a theory of policing known as "Broken Windows", which means focusing on pursuing misdemeanor crimes, in an effort to reduce the number of major crimes.

To find out more about Ipswich Central’s Street Security Team click here and more about My Local Bobby here.