Demand for action over crimewave

RISING crime in Hadleigh today led prominent figures to demand action be taken to regain control of the town.In the last month 40 crimes have been reported in the market town including four suspected arsons.

RISING crime in Hadleigh today led prominent figures to demand action be taken to regain control of the town.

In the last month 40 crimes have been reported in the market town including four suspected arsons.

Incidents range from chemicals being spilt during a theft at Suffolk and Essex Supplies, in the Lady Lane Industrial Estate to an arson attack on Boundary Garage, in Pond Hall Lane.

Twelve windows have been smashed in the town hall this month alone and thousands of pounds of damage was caused by vandals who torched allotment holder's sheds.

Councillor David Grutchfield, of the county, district and town councils, said: “We have had 40 crimes in a month.

“Nearby parishes think they are unfortunate if they get five crimes in a month.

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“The problem is becoming a genuine concern for us in the town and the sooner we get it sorted out the better. We are in danger of losing control.”

Tonight business members from the town were due to gather at Priory Hall to discuss concerns of being targeted by burglars and break-ins.

Last year there were 25 crimes on the town's industrial estates which had a costly effect on the businesses involved.

Bill Nay, owner of Semer Plant Hire in Crockatt Road, said he had been the victim of around a dozen break-ins since he started his business four years ago.

He said: "We've had four or six in the last year.

"Each time it costs a lot of money because even if nothing is taken we have to pay for the clean-up.

"Plant theft is big business in Britain; it's worth billions every year.

"We've taken more steps at the firm like getting in CCTV, but we'd still like police to do more.

"I'm hoping measures like a centrally controlled CCTV system and gates on the industrial unit that only let in people who should be here are considered.

"We're a small business; there are only four of us. So we can't afford for this to keep happening."

Bob Cracknell, Suffolk police sector commander for Hadleigh, was scheduled to attend tonight's meeting.

He said: "We are trying to find a way of approaching the problem. We will look at measures like CCTV and electric fences.”

n The meeting takes place from 6pm to 7.30pm at the Priory Hall, Benton Street, Hadleigh. For more information visit www.hadleigh4u.org

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