Drugs debris plagues playgroup

THIS deadly handful of druggie debris is the danger faced by playgroup officials today after a typical night on their estate in Ipswich. The dirty hypodermic syringes used by addicts to shoot up, are being dumped just yards away from the Toybox Pre-school in Gatacre Road.

THIS deadly handful of druggie debris is the danger faced by playgroup officials today after a typical night on their estate in Ipswich.

The dirty hypodermic syringes used by addicts to shoot up, are being dumped just yards away from the Toybox Pre-school in Gatacre Road.

Horrified staff have to clear up the area, before the dozens of children arrive every day.

Further along the road there is also a busy primary school, Handford Hall which caters for more than 100 children.


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Toybox manager Sandra Baker said: "You see people putting needles in their arms and strapping belts around them. It's really not nice to have that next to us.

"Luckily the children cannot see it because they are too short to look out of the windows."

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The Toybox has also suffered from a spate of burglaries, losing hundreds of pounds in cash. It has been burgled three times in just three weeks, with doors and windows being smashed and property destroyed.

Mrs Baker said: "I'm fed up with it. I haven't been sleeping because I keep thinking they are breaking in.

"This has become pretty frequent. These people think they can have what they want from us whenever they want it. It's unbearable."

In the first incident between January 21 and 22, thieves broke into the property and stole £380 cash.

Mrs Baker added: "That is a lot of money for us. We are a low-fee nursery and we can't get that money back."

Since the first incident no cash has been kept on the premises but that hasn't deterred burglars who broke in twice more - between January 24 and 26 and February 7 and 8.

The doors and a window have both been damaged and filing cabinets have been literally torn apart.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: "All the burglaries are being fully investigated. Where appropriate, scenes of crimes officers have attended and gathered forensic evidence.

"House to house enquiries have been carried out and we would always appeal to the public for any information they may have."

Mrs Baker now fears the fall in pre-school members is a direct result of the place falling victim to crime, but is at a loss to know what she can do about it.

She said: "We have about 200 places here, on average about 20 a session, but that has dropped to about 14 recently. We cannot afford improved security measures, we do not have the money. We have tried to get funding for a burglar alarm and we really would appreciate any help we can get from anyone."

Anyone who wishes to help the nursery or make a donation can contact Mrs Baker on 07808 656211.

Anyone with information about the crimes, should call Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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