Community unites after Ipswich horror

RESIDENTS of the Ipswich road where serial killer Steve Wright masterminded his murderous campaign today told how their bid to rebuild their community was going from strength to strength.

RESIDENTS of the Ipswich road where serial killer Steve Wright masterminded his murderous campaign today told how their bid to rebuild their community was going from strength to strength.

Fresh from a second event aimed at building neighbourly relations, the people of London Road said community cohesion had never been better.

Julie Hyland, who organised the London Road get-together which was held on Saturday, said: “We're now a closer community. I wouldn't even say we were a community a few years ago.

“I think people are actually happy to live here now. We don't see any prostitutes on the streets now and it's safer.

“It's an absolutely fantastic place to live.”

London Road hit international headlines in December 2006 when Steve Wright was arrested for the murders of sex workers Tania Nicol, 19, Gemma Adams, 25, Anneli Alderton, 24, Annette Nicholls, 29, and Paula Clennell, 24.

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Wright had been living among the people of London Road with his partner Pam Wright at number 79 while he killed the five women during a six-week period beginning at the end of October.

His arrest highlighted the street prostitution problem in the area and ever since the residents have been working to transform it into a better place to live.

Ron Alder, chairman of the London Road Neighbourhood Watch group, said: “Our aim is to regenerate this road. There were a lot of comments from the residents on Saturday about how nice the road has become.”

After Wright's conviction in February there was discussion among residents about the future of the flat Wright rented at number 79 and a suggestion to change the name of the road.

Residents now believe the flat's owners will seek to keep the property rather than have it demolished once it is handed back by Suffolk police and any suggestions of a change to the road's name have now evaporated.

Saturday's barbecue attracted more than 65 residents and friends and was held in conjunction with the London Road in Bloom event which was won by Alfie Smith who transformed the Riverside units he lives in with a burst of colour from flowers and plants.

Mrs Hyland said: “Saturday was absolutely fantastic. It was a way of getting the community in London Road together.

“A few years ago you used to walk up the road and not talk to anyone. Now we can talk to seven or eight people.”