Crime crackdown in Felixstowe

TRUANTS, fly-tippers, vandals and illegal drivers were among the targets today as a multi-unit force swept through Felixstowe to tackle crime.The sweep involving dozens of officers from different agencies moved through the seafront area and parts of the west of the resort to deal with a wide variety of problems.

TRUANTS, fly-tippers, vandals and illegal drivers were among the targets today as a multi-unit force swept through Felixstowe to tackle crime.

The sweep involving dozens of officers from different agencies moved through the seafront area and parts of the west of the resort to deal with a wide variety of problems.

Officers checked for unlicensed and abandoned vehicles, dealt with criminal damage and graffiti, dumped rubbish, dog fouling, truancy, litter dropping, and used speed cameras in traffic hotspots.

Meanwhile, Garrison Lane car park was used as a base for vehicle inspections checking for mechanical faults, illegal fuel, and cargo they were carrying, especially waste materials, such as builders' rubbish.

Dozens of police, fire officers, DVLA and vehicle inspectors, trading standards officers, education welfare staff, HM Customs, district and county council staff, Environment Agency and crime prevention officers took part in the sweep, called Operation Harness.

Some teams were mobile, covering a number of areas; others went on foot, checking street by street.

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Felixstowe police commander Insp Steve Gallant said the seafront area had not been chosen because of particular problems but was a compact area which was fairly easy to tackle.

He said: “In other towns we could tackle a certain estate, but Felixstowe doesn't have one particular problem area. The seafront has lots of alleys where people could dump rubbish, and it is a busy area with lots of activity, but we are being flexible and looking at a number of areas today.

“The main aim of the exercise is to network with other agencies - to learn more about their work so officers know who to contact about problems and we can work together more effectively.”

When the new Safer Neighbourhood Teams come into operation next year, agencies will be working together every day.

Community fire safety officer Denise Whiting said: “One of the big successes of these days is communicating with one another. Some of the intelligence shared between the agencies may be the last piece in the jigsaw to get action to help residents in an area.”

Are activities like Operation Harness are a good idea? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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