Watch: Film explores what led to the rise of youth violence in Ipswich

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens, known by the nickname 'Biggz', was killed in Packard Avenue, Ipswich, on June

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens, known by the nickname 'Biggz', was killed in Packard Avenue, Ipswich, on June 2, 2018 Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

As five young men are jailed for killing another teenager in Ipswich last summer, this short film attempts to establish what caused the sudden explosion in brutality.

Interviews reveal how significant changes in the illegal drugs market may have accounted for two main gangs resorting to “hideously violent acts”.

Criminology lecturer, Dr Paul Andell explains the spread of city gangs in terms of cold, hard economics – likening it to a franchise with a public relations arm of extreme violence.

The county council’s cabinet member for Ipswich, Paul West insists local government cannot not solve problems alone, and that the focus should be on the realistic goal of minimising risk, rather than eradicating gang related violence altogether.

We look at what happened after an action plan of measures were drawn up to answer the concerns of people living in the area of Nacton Road, where 17-year-old victim Tavis Spencer-Aitkens was attacked in the street.

Phanuel Mutumburi, of the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality, says communities will be left behind by an overreliance on enforcement to deal with youth violence and knife crime, without addressing the root causes.

Member of Youth Parliament Isaac Codjoe calls it a “socio-economic problem” that requires ground-level solutions.

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