Ipswich: Police step up hunt for arsonist after family escape London Road terror blaze

IPSWICH: Police officers are today searching for clues in their bid to snare an arsonist after a family was rescued from a burning building in Ipswich.

Overnight on Saturday police officers were called to London Road on three occasions after trouble erupted in the volatile area.

At about 7.30pm police were first alerted after a group of men allegedly stormed into a property.

Later at 3.50am officers returned after it was reported two men were outside the property causing problems. They spoke to four men before leaving the scene.

But at 5am they were called a third time and discovered flames engulfing a four-storey building near the junction with Burlington Road.

A 25-year-old man arrested on suspicion of assault in connection with the first incident was released on police bail yesterday to return to Ipswich police station on Friday, March 25, while inquiries continue.

On January 26 a man was stabbed in the arm as three men allegedly attacked him, nearby, in Benezet Street.

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The 33-year-old was having a cup of tea in the Siyako Kebab House on the corner of Bramford Road when three men, allegedly carrying stones, threatened him.

Four men – a 29-year-old and a 26-year-old from Hull and a 19-year-old and another man, 18, from Ipswich – are on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm in connection with the incident.

They were bailed to return to Ipswich police station on February 23.

Chief Inspector Martin Ransome said officers are working to improve community relationships in the area in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour.

“We are investigating two crimes of a serious nature in the area, the fire and the incident in Benezet Street.

“The Ipswich Central Safer Neighbourhood Team have identified the area as one of their priorities, tackling anti-social behaviour and crime.

“They are looking to increase high-visibilty patrols in the area to gather information and identify the concerns of residents and businesses.

“By identifying the issues they can then focus on tackling them and improve community safety.”

He said police officers will be meeting with other agencies, including the fire service and Ipswich Borough Council, in the first step towards creating a multi-agency group aimed at working to address the issues in the area.

“There are a lot of interested parties in the area,” he added. “For me it is really an opportunity to improve aspects of safety, working with the fire service to improve fire safety and work on crime reduction ideas.”

Anyone who was in the London Road/Burlington Road area between 7pm on Saturday and 5am on Sunday is asked to call police on 01473 613500.

n What do you think about issues in the area? Call the newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

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