Ipswich: Shoplifting hotspots in town centre revealed

IPSWICH: New figures can today reveal the hotspots for shoplifting in Ipswich town centre.

The figures, released by Suffolk police following a Freedom of Information request, show that 1,397 thefts were committed during 2009/10 with the highest levels occurring in town centre shopping streets.

Westgate Street had the highest number of thefts with 348 being recorded during 2009/2010, which works out at nearly six a week on average.

There were 237 incidents in Norwich Road, 219 in Tavern Street and 151 in Carr Street, as well as 113 being carried out in Upper Brook Street.

However Inspector Andrew Mason, who covers Ipswich town centre, said that latest shoplifting figures showed a decrease in crimes.

He said: “There have been 99 offences in Ipswich this month which is down significantly compared to this time last year.

“We actively worked to target and warn known offenders in the run-up to Christmas and will increase plain-clothed patrols in the coming months.

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“The figures released also include roads with big supermarkets in them which employ private firms to tackle shoplifting.”

Paul Clement, executive director of Ipswich Central, added: “Our team of seven street rangers walk the streets of Ipswich, acting as highly visible figures to any would-be criminals.

“Our exclusion scheme started in September 2008, and since then we have issued 1,351 warnings for first time offences.

“As a direct result of this, only 107 people have been officially excluded from the town centre – proving that our warnings act as a powerful deterrent.”

Meanwhile Suffolk police have a new dedicated officer to tackle such crimes.

PCSO Shani Plumb will work with retailers and other business owners in the town to raise the policing profile in shops and businesses to help tackle retail-related crime.

n Are you concerned about shoplifting in Ipswich town centre? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk