'No silver bullet to end mindless violence' after sixth stabbing in recent weeks
Violent crime returned to Ipswich this weekend as the victim of another alleged stabbing bled outside a nursery in the middle of the day.
Police taped off an area opposite the shops in Hawthorn Drive, between two churches, where help had arrived for a 30-year-old man – stabbed in a nearby part of Chantry – hours after being wounded in an earlier alleged knife attack.
Three people have been released from custody under investigation for attempted murder after the man was stabbed inside a property in Grebe Close.
A fourth person was questioned on suspicion of grievous bodily harm, in connection with an earlier incident at a caravan park, eight miles away, in Bucklesham.
Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner has today raised serious concerns about the increasingly brazen nature of violent crime in the county.
Tim Passmore said: “This really reinforces the shocking nature of mindless violence occurring in Suffolk. It’s the most serious threat to our county at the moment.
“We have to do more to prevent people thinking this cowardly approach is an appropriate way to resolve difficulties.
“This serves as another call to action for all agencies to work together.
“I’m seriously worried about this – and a lot of work is going on behind the scenes, including a big application for the Early Intervention Youth Fund (up to £700,000 over two years, from a £22m pot).
“We must look at the long-term reasons for this sort of crime and engage with children to point out its perils.
“I’m deeply concerned that not a week goes by without me hearing about another stabbing. We’re not used to this in Suffolk and that’s why people are rightly concerned. It’s becoming more brazen.
“I’ll be ramping up the ante for the Home Office to see sense over police funding (Suffolk Constabulary has the highest case load per officer but receives one of the lowest funding settlements).
“The police have an important enforcement role to play – and we have switched resources to improve visibility – but we won’t police our way out of the problem. There’s no silver bullet.
“Society has been oblivious to this for the last 20 years – but it’s no longer taking place behind closed doors.”
Police were alerted just before 5am on Saturday to reports of a man having been stabbed in the arm in a caravan at Bucklesham an hour earlier.
The victim was taken to hospital for treatment to his injury and left shortly afterwards.
Officers were then called at 12.25pm to a second stabbing, which took place earlier inside a premises at Grebe Close, where the same victim sustained stab wounds to his bottom and back.
He remained in hospital last night with injuries not thought to be life-threatening.
A 40-year-old man, a 38-year-old woman and 31-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the Grebe Close incident and taken to Martlesham Heath police investigation centre for questioning.
All were released overnight, under investigation pending further enquiries.
A 46-year-old man arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm, in connection with the incident at the Oaks Caravan Park, was also taken in for questioning at Martlesham Heath, where he remains.
Officers believe it was a targeted attack and said there was no wider threat to the community.
Local councillors reiterated the message that there was no need for public alarm.
County councillor for Chantry, Peter Gardiner, said: “The police have said they were known to each other so there is no ongoing threat to the community – that’s my first concern.”
Gardiner explained there had been some recent police activity in the area, in response to concerns from residents.
He added “There is a lot of work being done to change things. I hope residents can be reassured the police are on top of it.”
Ipswich borough councillor Roger Fern, who represents Sprites and served as mayor last year, said: “It is, of course, a regrettable incident but the police have said that the people involved were known to each other, so the important thing is there is no wider threat to the community.”
Anyone with information on either incident is asked to contact Ipswich CID on 101, quoting crime reference 37/45529/18 for the first incident, and 37/45582/18 for the second incident.