Ipswich: Crackdown on anti-social behaviour begins at play area

A DISPERSAL order has been put in place to quell anti-social behaviour in an area of town.

Police have joined forces with the borough council in taking new steps to tackle anti-social behaviour around the Jubilee Park play area in west Ipswich. The decision to implement a dispersal order comes following a community consultation.

The dispersal zone comes into force today and will last six months.

Roads included in the order are Surrey Road, Sidar Road, Victoria Street, Prospect Street, Prospect Road, Rendlesham Road, Stopford Court, Mountbatten Court, Ainslie Road and Bulwer Road.

Residents in the area are hopeful that the order will reduce noise and litter problems and tackle the high levels of anti-social behaviour.

According to police records, there have been 242 incidents in the area between March 1 and August 13 – of which 27 per cent were associated with anti-social behaviour.

Almost half of the calls relating to anti-social behaviour were directly linked to youths, with other call-outs involving alcohol, drugs and urinating in public.

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Kathryn Longwill and Terrance Whitby have lived near the Jubilee Park play area for six years.

Terrance said: “We get a lot of people hanging around and throwing litter on the floor. Shouting and screaming until 2am – it’s constant”

Kathryn added: “It’s not a park, it’s a children’s play area.”

Rendlesham Road resident Lynn Wharton is concerned about the level of litter left around the play area. She said: “I couldn’t take my four-year-old daughter over there the other day because of the litter.

“That park is for little ones, after 7pm it should be cleared and quiet.We’re all just worn out. It’s getting ridiculous. We’ve had enough.”

The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 means that senior officers have power to disperse groups where their presence or behaviour has resulted – or is likely to result in – a member of the public being harassed, intimidated or distressed.Individuals can be excluded from areas for up to 24 hours and if they refuse to comply that will be committing a criminal offence.

Superintendent Martin Ransome from Ipswich Policing Command said: “Tackling anti-social behaviour is a priority for Suffolk police.

“This dispersal order will give officers extra powers and means police will be focusing additional resources on issues in this area.”

Officers will also have a discretionary power to take youngsters under 16 home after 9pm if they are without an adult. Councillor Neil Macdonald said: “Ipswich Borough Council is determined to stamp out any anti-social behaviour in the Jubilee Park area.

“We will continue to work closely with the police and other agencies to try to ensure residents’ lives are not blighted by unruly behaviour and noise nuisance.”