Action called for after night of trouble

RESIDENTS are calling today for tougher action on low life terrorising an Ipswich neighbourhood. The move comes after another night of shame in the Reynolds Road area of the town.

RESIDENTS are calling today for tougher action on low life terrorising an Ipswich neighbourhood.

The move comes after another night of shame in the Reynolds Road area of the town.

As a police helicopter buzzed overhead up to twenty officers were used to disperse a crowd of youths on Friday evening after they gathered near shops in Reynolds Road.

The fracas is the latest in a string of incidents, which has left residents angry, terrified and, in many cases, too frightened to speak out.

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As reported in The Evening Star just two weeks ago cars were torched and left to burn perilously close to businesses leaving shopkeepers and residents fearing for their livelihoods and safety.

One Reynolds Road resident, who did not wish to be named, said a man in his 60s had been arrested after he confronted the youths on Friday night.

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He said: "He told the children they were cowards and should go home. The police arrived and the children said he had been threatening them.

"He was then arrested and they handcuffed him. I couldn't believe it."

He said some of the youngsters involved in the incident were as young as 12.

He said: "They are running wild, they steal cars every weekend, drive them around the estate and burn them.

"I heard them shouting to burn down the shops. Their parents should be ashamed.

"Younger children are being encouraged by the older ones and they have become their apprentices. They are low life.

"If I had a 12-year-old daughter hanging around with 18 and 19-year-old lads I would be worried."

He called for tougher action from the courts.

He said: "We know who these people are, the police know who they are but when they get to court they are let go.

"You cannot really blame the police but they should stop pussyfooting around with them.

"They should be sentenced properly but they come out of court laughing. It is a joke to them to get a solicitor and a social worker. They should be locked up and go inside for a year."

The resident said older people in the area are terrified to leave their homes.

He added: "My elderly neighbour is petrified to leave her home. People are intimidated, trade at the shops is suffering, and people are too scared to talk to the police.

"It is no way to live."

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police confirmed there had been reports of trouble in the area at about 10pm.

She said: "We did have a problem in the Reynolds Road area on Friday night. We were called at 10.15pm to deal with public order problems and two people were arrested on suspicion of public order offences."

The spokeswoman said ten police cars were called to the scene and the police helicopter was scrambled.

She added: "I am not sure exactly how many officers were at the scene, there were ten units but I do not know if they were double or single units.

"There were about 25 children involved in the disturbance. The crowd was dispersed at about 11.30pm.

"Public order is a concern for police and it was dealt with as swiftly as possible."

There were no reports of trouble in the area on Saturday night.

Were you the man who was arrested? What do you think should be done to help people in this area of town? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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