Ipswich yob terror: 'Scared' neighbours write to home secretary to demand action
PUBLISHED: 16:02 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:53 11 September 2019
Neighbours fed up with abuse and vandalism on an Ipswich estate have written to home secretary Priti Patel imploring her to deal with the troublemakers.
Garrick Way and the Castle Court sheltered housing scheme in Ipswich have been plagued by anti-social behaviour problems for more than a year. The estate has also faced problems during the summer, with garden furniture reportedly vandalised and residents saying they frequently have had abuse shouted at them. On Friday, September 6 Simon Tuddenham, of Castle Court - who has previously organised a public forum about the issue - attended a meeting between Suffolk Constabulary officers, councillors and Ipswich Borough Council officials to see what could be done.
But fearing the meeting will end up being little more than a talking shop, he has taken the case straight to the corridors of power in Whitehall.
"The problem is not with the police, or the other agencies: they have done their best," Mr Tuddenham wrote in his later to the Witham MP.
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"The problem is with the courts not having the powers to deal out effective deterrents against these hooligans, something I hope you will be able to address."
Police have stepped up patrols and used community resolutions to warn parents to keep younger troublemakers in line in the past.
A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said ahead of Friday's meeting that it would be a "valuable platform for us to hear the concerns of residents and provide us with an opportunity to clearly explain how we are working to resolve the problem in conjunction with other partners, including the council".
The spokesman added: "We would repeat what we have said previously in that we fully understand the distress ASB can cause and we would urge anyone who experiences this type of behaviour to report it on the force's website."
Of the vandals, Mr Tuddenham said: "They don't seem to have any shame. "They will stand and shout and scream abuse at us. "They're now so brazen. We've got a few residents who genuinely scared of the situation and won't go out at night. "The rest of us are just irritated at the authorities' ability to do anything about it.
"Police are doing the best they can with their powers. "It's difficult to see what more they can do. We're already getting extra police patrols but of police being here when they are playing up are pretty slim. "We'd love to have a police presence here 24-7 but we know they've got a lot more important things to do."