'Vandals will not be tolerated', says Ipswich MP

Tom Hunt MP visits Essential Vintage on the eve of the opening, May 27

Tom Hunt MP visits Essential Vintage on the eve of the opening, May 27 - Credit: Tom Hunt MP

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt is deeply concerned about “a pattern of anti-social behaviour”, after numerous incidents of vandalism against small businesses around the town. 

A number of shops have been attacked and had windows smashed - including the Essential Vintage store, which has only been open for two weeks.   

Mr Hunt said: “I am absolutely disgusted to see the thoughtless vandalism Essential Vintage has suffered. I visited Josh at Essential Vintage only a few weeks ago to wish him the best of luck with his new venture on the eve of the shop’s opening.  

Tom Hunt MP at Essential Vintage in the MicroShops

Tom Hunt MP at Essential Vintage in the MicroShops - Credit: Tom Hunt MP

“Josh works incredibly hard. He works seven days a week and has invested his future in this business. Josh throws his life into this business because he is passionate about what he does and because he believes in the town.  

“It saddens me greatly to see this criminal damage to his shop, knowing just how much time and enthusiasm he has poured into the venture.” 

Essential Vintage on Eagle Street is not a standalone instance. Similar acts of vandalism have been reported on Dial Lane and on Upper Brook Street.

Smashed window at Essential Vintage in Eagle Street

Smashed window at Essential Vintage in Eagle Street - Credit: EDRM

Mr Hunt added: “This isn’t the first instance of window-smashing in our town centre. Unfortunately, this plays into a pattern of anti-social behaviour.

"This vandalism often leads to more serious crime too, and it is vitally important the police force in our town centre tackle this criminality and prevent escalation of anti-social behaviour. I will be in touch with the police force to get an update from them."

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The MP emphasised the significant impact of incidents on businesses in terms of economic viability and atmosphere.  

Mr Hunt said: “It is critically important that, when it comes to these sorts of incidents, we find those responsible and ensure they are punished accordingly. This vandalism cannot and will not be tolerated. As the chair of the Backbench Committee for Home Affairs, I intend to raise this issue of holding those committing vandalism and criminal damage to account. 

“We need to support entrepreneurs not just economically, but by protecting their businesses from criminal damage – the costs of which are severe both financially and emotionally.

"Our shopkeepers and local business owners have a challenging enough time coming out of the pandemic and rebuilding the high street without suffering at the hands of vandalism as well.”