Gun threat in packed town pub
A MAN is in police custody today after pulling a handgun and threatening late-night revellers in Ipswich town centre.This terrifying incident is the latest in a series of violent scenes which have left taxi-drivers threatening a boycott.
A MAN is in police custody today after pulling a handgun and threatening late-night revellers in Ipswich town centre.
This terrifying incident is the latest in a series of violent scenes which have left taxi-drivers threatening a boycott.
New figures released by Suffolk Constabulary show that violent crime rose by more than 20 per cent and overall crime by almost 10pc in the first six months of this financial year, compared to the same period last year.
Last night, people in the packed Glasshouse in The Buttermarket were shocked when a 20-year-old man brandished a .177 air pistol.
The drama unfolded after a man was ejected from the pub around 9.30pm. He then pulled out what people thought was a gun and started brandishing it at the pub, before being overpowered by two men.
A pub employee, who helped tackle the man, said: "A man was ejected for smacking a guy in the face. He then went outside, brandished a gun and then tried to get in the pub.
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"We managed to pin him to the ground, at which point someone chucked a bottle at the back of his head.
"It turned out the gun was fake, but we didn't know that at the time. He just pulled it out and he pointed it at the pub and then tried to get in. That's when we stopped him."
Police sealed off the area for around 30 minutes while scene-of-crime officers took photographs.
Inspector Mike Hinshelwood said: "My perception is that firearm-related crimes are at a pretty steady level and that this kind of crime is rare.
"Suffolk Constabulary take all reports of violent crime seriously.
"It is encouraging that people are reporting incidents to us and are feeling reassured that the police can help."
As violent assaults and verbal abuse escalate in town centres across Suffolk, Ipswich cabbies have warned they could quit a key taxi rank rather than risk their safety.
Eric Pearl, secretary for Ipswich Taxi Drivers Association, says he may ask drivers to quit the Lloyds Avenue rank late at night unless there is greater police presence.
He said: "In the last month alone, one driver has been robbed and assaulted, while six taxi-drivers have been assaulted and had their taxis vandalised on the Lloyds Avenue rank."