Cops launch purse theft crackdown

A crackdown on the rising numbers of purse thefts in Ipswich is today underway following the appointment of the first retail and business commerce officer.

IPSWICH: A crackdown on the rising numbers of purse thefts in Ipswich is today underway following the appointment of the first retail and business commerce officer.

Pc Charly Lingwood will work with retailers and business owners in the town centre with the aim of raising the police profile in the area and to tackle retail-related crime.

Her first project will be Operation Dabble - a major initiative aimed at tackling the increased level of purse thefts in the town centre.

The operation will see officers deployed in plain clothes on foot in the town centre who are able to quickly respond to incidents of purse thefts.

Advice will be given to victims, shoppers and shop owners and offenders will be dealt with accordingly.

Pc Lingwood, who is part of the Central Ipswich Safer Neighbourhood Team, met shoppers and traders over the Christmas period after a police pod was stationed on the Cornhill.

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Pc Lingwood said: "I am very excited about this new role and think it will bring an important new aspect to the constabulary's commitment to crime reduction.

“I'm looking forward to developing relationships with business owners in Ipswich, increasing their confidence in the service we provide, and giving them support and advice on tackling any crimes they experience.”

Pc Lingwood said she has a number of plans for the new role, including offering statement training for store staff, addressing the issue of peddlers, beggars and rough sleepers within the town centre, building links with Street Rangers, and coordinating the access of contractors in the town centre at busy periods.

Have you been targeted by purse thieves? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk