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Growing crime problems in Ipswich raised with Suffolk police chiefs

PUBLISHED: 13:45 02 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:22 02 August 2017

Ipswich borough councillors Sophie Meudec, Shelly Darwin and Glen Chisholm with Tim Passmore. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Ipswich borough councillors Sophie Meudec, Shelly Darwin and Glen Chisholm with Tim Passmore. Picture: PAUL GEATER

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Suffolk's Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner were greeted by a delegation of councillors from Ipswich when they held a regular "meet the public" session at the town's Cornhill.

Ipswich borough councillors Stephen Connelly, Colin Kreidewolf and Sandra Gage raise their concerns with Chief Constable Gareth Wilson. Picture: PAUL GEATERIpswich borough councillors Stephen Connelly, Colin Kreidewolf and Sandra Gage raise their concerns with Chief Constable Gareth Wilson. Picture: PAUL GEATER

The Labour councillors from all parts of the town went along to raise concerns about rising crime and anti-social behaviour in many parts of Ipswich – and the perception that the police presence was less visible.

They were particularly concerned about the lack of PCSOs on the streets of the town outside working hours – and were urging a change in shift patterns.

The delegation was led by borough executive member Alasdair Ross who presented two specific examples of crime and anti-social behaviour in the Westgate Ward area to Chief Constable Gareth Wilson and PCC Tim Passmore.

He said: “Crime is now one of the biggest concerns raised with us by our residents. In certain parts of the town it is now making life unbearable for many.”

The councillors were keen that the shift patterns for PCSOs should reflect when crime was most of a concern for local people. Mr Ross said: “We want them to think of having some PCSOs on duty between noon and 9pm rather than the typical 9-5 pattern that you see at the moment.”

Mr Wilson welcomed the chance to exchange views with the councillors: “It is very important for us to listen to what the representatives of the community have to say and we shall look at what can be done.”

Mr Passmore said he was determined to do all he could to make people feel safe everywhere in Suffolk.

He said: “I am determined to ensure that we have enough resources to fight crime and that the public perception of the work must reflect that through having officers and PCSOs working throughout the town.”

He would be talking to the chief constable about what resources might be diverted into helping in the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour in Ipswich.

Mr Ross said at the end of the session that he felt their views had been heard – but he accepted that the issue was really one of resources that were being made available to the police and he felt that was an issue that was dependent on the national government rather than the county’s Chief Constable or PCC.

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