Middle class drug users 'feeding into' Ipswich knife crime, councillor says
- Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN/IBC
Borough council chiefs say they are doing all they can to curb knife crime in Ipswich, following an attack which left a 28-year-old man seriously injured over the jubilee weekend.
Alasdair Ross, the Ipswich councillor in charge of community protection and health, said he did not believe more CCTV would have prevented the Upper Brook Street attack.
Instead, Mr Ross said the answer lay in stopping the drug trade that was to blame for much of the recent knife crime in the town.
He said: "We don't know for sure it was drug-related in this case, but with most cases we've had in the past police tend to believe they're targeted attacks.
"If you're buying drugs and thinking 'oh I'm middle class, I can buy drugs' then you're feeding into this.
"I understand that people have drug issues, but if you're buying drugs you're paying into this. People carry knives because they're in gangs that are selling drugs.
"So people who sit in their homes and think 'I'm not getting involved in that', your money is one of the reasons these people have knives."
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Mr Ross said that a lack of well-paid jobs also meant young people see drug dealing as a way to make good money when in reality, they could end up dead or in prison.
Earlier in the weekend, Ipswich MP Tom Hunt gave his reaction to the incident, saying: "I know the police are doing some good work in disrupting the work of county lines gangs and take the matter of knife crime very seriously.
"I've been clear before that I believe that the police presence in the town centre needs to be greater."
Mr Ross added to the praise for police in the town, but he said: "It's people from London who are sending these people here to sell drugs.
"Some of these big dealers need to be really hit hard and taken out of circulation and put away.
"The police are doing the best, but they're hampered by lack of numbers.
"Whatever the government says about numbers increasing – we welcome those new police numbers – but it is still not up to where it was 10 years ago when the police were cut."