Ipswich: Crooks targeting four cars in our town every day

car crime

car crime - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

FOUR vehicles are targeted by criminals every day in Ipswich, shocking figures have revealed.

It comes as The Star today names the worst hotspots for car crime across Ipswich’s 16 wards over the past three years.

The statistics, from a Freedom of Information request to Suffolk Police, reveal that a total of 3,716 vehicle crimes were committed in the borough between 2010 and 2012.

Drivers who park in the Priory Heath ward are more likely to have their vehicle targeted by criminals than in any other the other wards with 417 crimes reported to Suffolk Police.

Crimes included 344 thefts from vehicles, 50 thefts of motor vehicles and 23 incidents of interference with a motor vehicle.

John Le Grys, ward councillor for Priory Heath, said: “There has been several problems with breaking into cars in the Braziers Wood area. “The main problem is cars parked in public car parks where people leave valuables on the back seat.

“There are signs up telling people not to do it but if there are thieves about break-ins will happen.

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“Car crime is petty and opportunistic and if people were more careful it wouldn’t happen so often.”

Second in the table was Gipping ward with 353 crimes followed by Gainsborough with 241 offences.

Ipswich crime reduction officer Lucy Mures said safer neighbourhood team officers regularly carry out high-visibility patrols in hotspot areas.

She said: “Local residents also help to set community policing priorities and a current priority for Ipswich South East Safer Neighbourhood Team is to reduce the amount of vehicle break-ins within car parks.

“The majority of car crime that we see is as a result of items being left on display which is an easy target for a criminal.”

The top three worst places for theft of cars are Westgate with 76, Gipping with 74 and Alexandra with 72.

Jess Gallagher, whose car was damaged by a vandal who targeted several vehicles in Samuel Court and Blanche Street, said: “It was only a minor thing and that kind of thing didn’t happen very often but when it did happen it was just really annoying.

“It makes me angry that someone would choose to damage someone else’s property, which then results in a lot of police time and the associated costs of the court – just through someone being drunk and stupid.”

The wards with the lowest numbers of vehicle crimes in Ipswich are Sprites with 104, Rushmere with 107 and Bixley with 123.

Although there were 3,716 car crimes over the last three years, it is on the decrease with 58 fewer reported incidents across the town in 2012 compared to 2011 and 285 fewer compared to 2010.

- Adam Burt, 18, of King’s Way, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to seven charges of criminal damage in Samuel Court/Blanche Street.

In January, he was ordered to pay more than £800 in compensation to the vehicle owners.

- What can be done to tackle the menace of car crime? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or alternatively you can send an email to starletters@archant.co.uk