Boost for community safety in Ipswich

IPSWICH is to get an extra £75,000 to boost community safety in the town following the deaths of five women who worked in the red light area.The money has been made available by central government, and comes just days after The Evening Star reported there was no extra money for community safety from the borough's own budget next year.

IPSWICH is to get an extra £75,000 to boost community safety in the town following the deaths of five women who worked in the red light area.

The money has been made available by central government, and comes just days after The Evening Star reported there was no extra money for community safety from the borough's own budget next year.

The council boosted its community safety budget by £100,000 two years ago but financial constraints had meant it was not possible to provide similar boosts since then.

Council deputy leader John Carnall said: “It is not that we had wanted to spend an extra £100,000 and had then been forced to cut out that increase. We always knew we could not consider spending that extra money next year.

“The government has come up with extra money but Ipswich could not stand all these costs alone.”

The town has one of the most comprehensive CCTV networks in the region - and police have been studying images as part of the investigation in to the deaths of the five women.

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Ipswich MP Chris Mole said local government minister Phil Woolas - who was his boss before he had to stand down as a Parliamentary Private Secretary in September - had spoken to him last week offering all the help and support he could.

“Phil told me that the government would do all it could within the rules of normal financial propriety.

I don't know exactly what kind of help it is offering, but £75,000 would be enough to boost the CCTV coverage in the red light area,” Mr Mole said.

“The police have already applied to the Home Office for extra funding which should be available under a special formula which frees up money if a single major investigation takes up more than one per cent of a force's budget,” he said.

“I know the Suffolk Police Authority is applying for help under that formula and I will do all I can to help them in their discussions with the Home Office.”

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