Ipswich MP Sandy Martin calls for increased policing to tackle 'turf warfare between rival gangs'
PUBLISHED: 16:19 25 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:01 25 August 2017
Ipswich MP Sandy Martin is calling for a "massive police presence" to tackle "turf warfare" between rival gangs in the town.
His comments come after an increase in knife crime in the town, which in the past week has seen a 16-year-old boy stabbed in Landseer Road, followed by a double stabbing in Hilton Road.
There was more trouble on Thursday night when a man was found bleeding after a fight broke out in Hawke Road – however police said the incident was not linked to the earlier stabbings.
The escalating violence has prompted the Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times to launch a campaign supporting the work to tackle knife crime.
•MORE: ‘Enough is enough’ – Campaign calls to end the menace of knife crime in Suffolk and Essex
•MORE: Police patrolling Nacton Road area after latest Ipswich stabbings called to fight in Hawke Road
Mr Martin, who backs the campaign, said the problem needed “urgent” attention.
“What we need at the moment, although it’s not a long term solution, is a massive police presence in Ipswich,” he said.
“We have all out turf warfare between two rival gangs and unless we step in, it’s just going to get worse and worse.
“We’ve seen more stabbings in the past three or four weeks in Ipswich than ever before.”
Mr Martin will meet with chief constable Gareth Wilson and Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore on Wednesday, when he will be calling for tougher action.
Police acknowledge there has been a rise in knife crime, much of it linked to gang activity, but have moved to reassure residents that the issue is being dealt with.
Chief Supt Jennifer Eves said: “We have been tackling violent crime in Ipswich for many months and in response to recent incidents in the town, we have already increased patrols to provide reassurance to residents and to allow us to enhance our ability to disrupt and deter any further incidents from taking place. We have seen an increased demand on our resources across the county over the past month and to enable us provide the appropriate response to incidents and enforcement activity, we have this week reverted our response and CID officers to a 12-hour shift pattern over the coming days. This shift change will remain under review, but will provide us with extra resilience in the short term.”
Suffolk Trading Standards (STS) stressed its commitment to tackling underage knife sales.
People who believe there such sales are happening are asked to contact STS on 0345 4040 506.