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Extra bobbies tackle town centre crime

PUBLISHED: 23:57 30 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 March 2010

A DOZEN-strong unit of extra beat bobbies take to Ipswich's streets from today to crack down on violence, burglary, car crime, criminal damage and disorder in Suffolk's county town.

A DOZEN-strong unit of extra beat bobbies take to Ipswich's streets from today to crack down on violence, burglary, car crime, criminal damage and disorder in Suffolk's county town.

The dedicated squad of town centre cops will form the new Ipswich Town Centre Unit - a new police team focussing on the business and entertainment districts and additional to existing town centre patrols.

"We know that people want to see officers patrolling on foot, so we're responding to the desires of the community," said Inspector John Fletcher, who heads the new unit of full-time, part-time and community beat officers.

"It's a question of responding to the desire of Ipswich people for a greater police presence."

The 12-strong unit has been made possible as a result of new officers recruited as part of the force's drive for 195 additional Suffolk recruits over the next three years.

The town centre bobbies making up the new unit are not rookies however, but officers with a combined wealth of experience in Ipswich.

"All the officers have worked in Ipswich and have a good knowledge of the town, the people and what the local issues are," Insp Fletcher said.

"We will provide policing throughout the day, seven days a week and then particularly target the night-time on Thursdays to Saturdays to link up with the Nightsafe Ipswich initiative [a joint strategy with nightclubs, the police and council to ensure the safety of night-time revellers in the town]."

The unit will focus on five areas including violent crime, burglary, car crime, criminal damage and public disorder which are "all areas of crime which are of particular community concern," Insp Fletcher said.

"They account for a large amount of crime reported to us and therefore impact on the lives of a lot of people who live and use the town centre."

The town centre unit will be tasked with reducing those areas of crime and reassuring those who use the centre of Ipswich, he added.

With a further deployment of new officers headed to Ipswich next year, the town centre unit will eventually be doubled in size, Insp Fletcher added.

"Some crime reduction issues take longer than other but right from the outset, these officers will be tasked with targeting these areas and providing the reassurance that the people of Ipswich clearly want. As more officers come on line, the potential to do that increases."

nWeblinks

Suffolk Police: www.suffolk.police.uk

Suffolk Police Federation: www.sufpolfed.co.uk

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