Anti-social behaviour top of agenda

TACKLING anti-social behaviour is to become the top priority for the newly expanded police Safer Neighbourhood Team in Kesgrave, Martlesham and Rushmere.

TACKLING anti-social behaviour is to become the top priority for the newly expanded police Safer Neighbourhood Team in Kesgrave, Martlesham and Rushmere.

The team, initially created a year ago, has been revamped in a bid to drive down crime in the area and make residents feel safer.

The pilot scheme's progress will be monitored and copied in other areas of Suffolk if deemed successful.

Sergeant Mick Richardson has been drafted in to head-up the team.

He said: “This is a pilot for the eastern area. If the things we do work, they will be used elsewhere.

“The team has existed for the last year working out of the offices at Ropes Drive, but has been expanded with a view to developing the work already carried out.

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“The idea is all about getting closer to the community. We are an identifiable team of police officers and our aim is to work in a fashion which allows the community to feel safer.”

Sgt Richardson said anti-social behaviour from youths was the biggest issue on the agenda.

“The most obvious thing right now is that we have large numbers of youths gathering late into the evening, which can be problematic,” he said.

“They can be intimidating, blocking the paths and being abusive. It's not to say that all the kids cause problems, but some clearly do.

“We are already starting to tackle this and we will be approaching schools and youth groups to work alongside the young people.

“Some of the problems are related to alcohol and we need to find out who is supplying it to them. We will also be working with the licensed trade to try to reduce the amount of alcohol available to these children.”

The Safer Neighbourhood Team will work closely with the parish and town councils and other partner organisations, with regular meetings to check on progress.

Weblink: www.suffolk.police.uk

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