Ipswich crime rates higher than Cardiff, Sheffield and Derby

Police in Ipswich have carried out weapons searches as part of the crackdown on violent crime Pictur

Police in Ipswich have carried out weapons searches as part of the crackdown on violent crime Picture: ADAM HOWLETT - Credit: Archant

Suffolk is still a very safe place to live - this is the reassurance that was offered as the latest crime rates for the town were revealed.

Superintendent Kerry Cutler said much of Ipswich's crime was behind closed doors Picture: SARAH LUCY

Superintendent Kerry Cutler said much of Ipswich's crime was behind closed doors Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Home Office figures presented to the Ipswich Borough Council south east area committee showed there were around 118 crimes per 1,000 people – higher than average across similar areas in the year up to the end of March.

It meant that crime levels were above those of other big towns and cities of comparable populations including Cardiff, Gateshead, Lincoln, Hastings, Sheffield, Torbay, Plymouth, Eastbourne, Gloucester and Derby.

Average crime rates across the whole of Suffolk Constabulary was 71 recorded crimes per 1,000 people.

Superintendent Kerry Cutler from Suffolk police said Suffolk was still a safe place to live, and a host of reasons were behind the increase.

“Some is down to changes in reporting by police and some is down to more victims coming forward to talk to police.

“We have seen increases in sexual offences but there are other types of crime and those hidden crimes happening behind closed doors, such as crimes over the internet – be that fraud, be that child abuse.”

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She added: “The important things is we look at the figures, what type of offences there are and what we need to do to respond to those.”

Supt Cutler pointed to the high profile cases in the media of sexual abuse as helping bring forward victims locally, while anti-social behaviour and county lines continued to be an issue in Ipswich.

Knives in Ipswich collected as part of Operation Sceptre Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Knives in Ipswich collected as part of Operation Sceptre Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Archant

Operations to crackdown on weapons and drug activity are ongoing across the county, with a large amount of work happening in Ipswich.

Supt Cutler added: “There are many crimes that putting a police officer on the street isn’t going to solve.

“Domestic abuse is happening behind closed doors and for a victim to come forward is a massive step.

“We often talk about that invisible crime but having a police officer on the street corner [won’t help] – you may as well have a police officer in every room.

“When people look at this [data] it would worry them, but crime has been there forever and often what we see is some of the more high profile incidents have happened between known parties.

“Suffolk is still a very safe place to live – I live in Suffolk and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”