Ipswich: Multi-agency approach is needed to tackle alcohol-related crime in Ipswich, says crime commissioner

Tim Passmore

Tim Passmore - Credit: Archant

A multi-agency approach is essential to tackling alcohol-related crime and street drinking in Ipswich, according to Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore.

It is estimated that on a busy night in Ipswich, up to 95% of incidents police are called out to are alcohol related – and community representatives have raised concerns about the issue.

Mr Passmore and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer held a meeting with officials from various organisations at the end of last month to discuss what needed to be done to resolve the problem.

Mr Passmore said: “What we need here is some long-term planning.

“It is an issue we need to deal with because we do not want the reputation of Ipswich to be damaged.

“No one agency is going to solve this problem on their own.

“When it comes to street drinking where you have got people who are, frankly, alcoholics, it is not just about normal enforcement, we need to get these people turned round in their addiction and see if we can find ways of helping them.”

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Organisations represented at the meeting included the NHS’ alcohol treatment service, housing and homeless groups, the borough council and Suffolk police.

Another meeting is due to take place in the next few months when the issue will be discussed again.

An investigation by this newspaper last month revealed that a third of all violent crimes committed in Ipswich took place in the Alexandra Ward – home to the bulk of the town’s pubs and clubs.

Officials believe more now needs to be done to raise Ipswich’s profile as a safe place to spend the evening.

Mr Passmore added: “I’m not a killjoy, we want people to go out and enjoy themselves because the night-time economy is important

“But it is all about getting it in the right balance because we don’t want people to end up saying they are not going to go to Ipswich.”