Crime falls in seaside town

BURGLARIES, vehicle incidents, nuisance and disorder are all down and today more crimes are being solved than ever before in the Felixstowe police sector.

BURGLARIES, vehicle incidents, nuisance and disorder are all down and today more crimes are being solved than ever before in the Felixstowe police sector.

The only blackspots are violent crime and criminal damage, which have both increased, but residents were reassured they were living in one of the safest areas of the safest county in the country.

Felixstowe police commander Insp Neal Atwell said there had been 294 violent crimes on the peninsula between April and September compared with 230 in the same period last year - a 28 per cent rise.

But the statistics did not tell the whole story because of the method of recording and categorising crime.

Insp Atwell said violent crime could include school children scrapping in the playground if it was reported to police, or common assault, which often involves no violence at all.

"If these incidents are reported to us we must record them whereas in the past they have not been recorded as violent crime - so the increase is not as big as it might seem from the figures. We are not talking about stranger assaults and muggings in the street," he said.

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In fact, 33pc of violent crime involved no injury at all, while 33pc either happened in the home or the people involved were known to each other, and only four pc involved serious injury.

Officers had solved 69.4pc of all violent crimes in the sector - a rise of 7.2pc.

"Felixstowe is a safe place. Having worked in a number of other towns in the county, I can assure you that this is a nice place and you can walk around the town and surrounding villages and not get mugged," Insp Atwell told the Felixstowe Policing Forum at Trimley St Martin Sports and Social Club.

There had been 383 incidents of criminal damage between April and September compared with 324 in 2001 when the Suffolk First project was launched. Despite the 18pc increase, pro-active work was being done and two pc more had been solved.

Vehicle crime was down 20pc compared with 2001, house burglaries had been halved with just 37 during the period, and disorder was also down 32pc.

Insp Atwell 547 offences of all kinds had been solved during the period compared with 411 in 2001 - 35.8pc, an extra 136 crimes solved.

Officers' priorities were tackling violence in public places linked to alcohol, house burglaries and drugs, but other matters and incidents were all dealt with and community police officers were working on a range of initiatives.

As reported in last night's Evening Star, the resort would also in the New Year be gaining three community support officers to be a high visibility presence on the streets and help tackle anti-social behaviour.

Do you think Felixstowe is becoming safer? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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