Councils seek residents views on gang problems on the streets of Ipswich

Police officer Vicky McParland in Jubilee Park, Ipswich
Picture:Sarah Lucy Brown

Police officer Vicky McParland in Jubilee Park, Ipswich Picture:Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Borough Council is pressing for more police to be seen on the streets that have been identified as being at the heart of the gang culture that has hit the town in recent months.

Alasdair Ross

Alasdair Ross - Credit: Archant

And the authority is keen to give local people the chance to have their say on the gang and drugs culture that has been getting worse over the summer.

In the wake of new research by the University of Suffolk, the borough council has called for an immediate increased police presence on the streets.

• READ MORE: Shocking new study reveals children as young as 12 are distributing Class A drugs in Ipswich

The initial focus of the research was on the Jubilee Park – between Handford Road and Bramford Road – and Nacton Road areas of Ipswich, where residents and agencies had become increasingly concerned about the levels of crime, youth gang activity, drug dealing and distribution and possible exploitation of children and young people. However, the scope was widened to cover Ipswich as a whole to ensure the full picture was understood.

Alasdair Ross, borough portfolio holder for safety, said: “There may be a temptation for some people to think that because they don’t live in the Jubilee Park or Nacton Road area that these issues don’t really affect them.

“But there are people going into these areas, particularly Jubilee Park, from all areas of the town and we need to make it clear that potentially everyone is affected by what is happening.”

The research was commissioned by Suffolk County Council and carried out by Dr Paul Andell, senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Suffolk and Visiting Professor of Criminology, Prof. John Pitts.

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Both councils, the police and other agencies are working together to develop an action plan to deal with the violence, but the borough wants a more visible police presence now.

Public engagement is crucial and the issue will be discussed at the next round of the borough’s area committees in Ipswich:

• South East Area Committee: Murrayside Learning Centre, Nacton Road, Wednesday, September 6, 7pm.

• Central Area Committee: Ipswich Community Church, Clarkson Street, Wednesday, September 13, 7pm.

• North West Area Committee: St Raphael Club, Highfield Road, Thursday, September 14, 7pm.

• North East Area Committee: St John’s Church Hall, Cauldwell Hall Road, Tuesday, September 19, 7pm.