Gunmmer thrown guntlet over vandals

YOUR challenge, Mr Gummer, should you choose to accept it, will be to end vandalism and nuisance noise in Woodbridge.That was the gauntlet thrown down by an angry Woodbridge shopkeeper today for the Suffolk Coastal MP in a bid to put an end his misery during weekends.

YOUR challenge, Mr Gummer, should you choose to accept it, will be to end vandalism and nuisance noise in Woodbridge.

That was the gauntlet thrown down by an angry Woodbridge shopkeeper today for the Suffolk Coastal MP in a bid to put an end his misery during weekends.

John O'Hagan, manager of the Newsplus newsagents in the Thoroughfare and who lives above the shop, wants Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer to meet him at 1am and see what goes on.

"I want to ask Mr Gummer what he has done for vandalism on the streets of Woodbridge. I challenge him to stand with me in the Thoroughfare between 9.30pm and 1am on Friday and Saturday evenings and tell me why I should vote for him!"


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Mr O'Hagan says large groups of youngsters gather in the street on Friday and Saturday evenings creating noise and vandalism.

He said: "They shout and scream and throw things around. I won't pay for flower baskets for Woodbridge in Bloom now as I am sick and tired of clearing up at 3am in the morning after local yobs have hauled them down."

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Mr O'Hagan's wife, Pat, agreed: "Sometimes it goes on until two or three in the morning, and when we have to be up at 5am for deliveries it's no joke. We just don't get any sleep."

Barretts furniture store has had several instances of smashed glasses and bottles all over the back door, along with vomit, urine and human faeces. Seven windows have been smashed at St John's Church.

Woodbridge mayor Neil Montgomery said: "I fully sympathise with the people who live in the Thoroughfare and have to put up with this as it is a problem where I live too.

"I know the council are fully aware with it and are working very closely with the police in an effort to control it. Foot patrols in the town centre at the weekends have been increased and we are doing everything we can to combat the problem."

Tory MP Mr Gummer has blamed the lack of CCTV for the rise in vandalism in the town centre.

"The police do all they can but their job would be helped immensely if they were able to monitor what goes on in the town centre via CCTV," said Mr Gummer.

"The county council tax and the police authority precept have risen dramatically this year, and for the money they are paying, the people of Woodbridge deserve protection from mindless vandalism.

"The town and other smallish communities are fed up with the large urban centres exporting their crime. There needs to be a concerted effort to catch whoever is responsible – if New York can be rid of its record as the gun capital of the world by tough policing and support measures, then surely it is not beyond the wit of Suffolk to solve the vandalism of Woodbridge."

Inps Trevor Brundle, of Woodbridge police, said vandalism was a problem throughout the Woodbridge area with about the same number of incidents as last year.

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