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Crime rise blamed on clubbers

PUBLISHED: 15:39 19 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:21 03 March 2010

SOARING levels of violent crime have been linked to a weak police presence outside Ipswich nightspots. Violent crime has risen by more than 20 per cent compared to last year – and Chris Sadler, the chairman of the Police Federation in Suffolk put the rise down to drunken nightclubbers in Ipswich and across the county taking advantage of overstretched police resources.

SOARING levels of violent crime were today linked to a weak police presence outside Ipswich nightspots.

Violent crime has risen by more than 20 per cent compared to last year – and Chris Sadler, the chairman of the Police Federation in Suffolk put the rise down to drunken nightclubbers in Ipswich and across the county taking advantage of overstretched police resources.

"I know I wouldn't be fighting outside the nightclubs if I knew there was a transit van full of police officers parked round the corner," he said.

"Obviously if you plug young men with alcohol on a Friday and Saturday night with pretty girls around and when they've just got paid because it's the weekend – that's a recipe for violence."

Mr Sadler's comments come as the Home Office yesterday released crime figures for all 43 police forces in England and Wales. According to the figures, Suffolk had 65.7 offences per 1,000 people while the national average was 98.1 per 1,000, making it the safest county in the country, compared to fifth last year.

There were 6,395 offences of violence against the person over the past 12 months in Suffolk, a surge of 20.6pc – greater than in any other county in East Anglia.

Although Mr Sadler described as "big issues" the violent crime among young people going out at weekends and domestic violence, particularly against women in the home, he said that the average resident in Ipswich was unlikely to fall victim to violence.

Mr Sadler also called for a reduction in the number of performance indicators, saying the box-ticking mentality of government targets distracted officers and managers from the job in hand, particularly as numbers of police officers in Suffolk were falling.

It was the only force in East Anglia to show a fall in numbers, from 1,145 to 1,113.

There was some good news, however.

Robberies were down by 20.6pc, and there were falls in the number of burglaries – 5.7pc – and car crime – 3.2 pc.

Suffolk's Chief Constable, Paul Scott Lee attributed a 2.2pc increase in overall crime across the county to a more rigorous system of recording crime.

He said he was encouraged by the figures which showed the Suffolk had the best detection rate in England and Wales but admitted more needed to be done to address how the public felt about crime.

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