Ipswich/Suffolk/UK: Operation Lockdown – Suffolk police bolster street presence to keep county violence-free

IPSWICH/SUFFOLK/UK: Operation Lockdown appeared to be keeping Suffolk streets free from thugs and looters today.

As 16,000 police patrolled the riot-blitzed streets of the capital, officers in Suffolk beefed up their presence in the main towns of the county.

In common with other towns and cities across the UK, social media sources indicated a possible threat to Ipswich. But a well-organised operation here, led by Assistant Chief Constable Paul Marshall, was hailed a success and the county remained calm.

Around 60 Suffolk officers were in London as part of the massive security operation on the capital.

While London appeared to be far quieter than in the last three nights, serious disturbances occurred in the Midlands and Manchester.

In Nottingham, a police station was firebombed by a group of 30 to 40 men, although no injuries were reported.

Suffolk police called in around 48 special constables to help bolster their presence in the county.

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But police chiefs were quick to dispel “fictitious” rumours circulating on Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger of riots spreading to Ipswich.

Speaking last night, ACC Marshall said: “We are bolstering staff with extra police officers and police community support officers who are working overtime to keep Suffolk safe.

“We are monitoring social media and picking up on information there, but rioting in Ipswich is nothing more than rumours – there is no intelligence supporting this.

“We are also developing contingency plans to ensure we provide the right response to any incident.

“I am confident we have sufficient resources to provide the appropriate response to any incident in Ipswich.”

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust has also reviewed its contingency plan for major incidents.

A spokesman said last night: “These plans will remain in place for tonight and the foreseeable future.”

Dan Poulter – MP for North Ipswich and Central Suffolk – said Suffolk officers battling rioters in London are “putting their lives on the line”.

Dr Poulter, who worked in London during the 7/7 bombings, said: “We should be proud of our officers, but there should have been more London police officers on the street during the riots.

“The Prime Minister shouldn’t have to return early from his holiday for this to happen.”