Major rise in public disorder
A MAJOR rise in public disorder has hit Suffolk in the past year with a 23 per cent increase in breaches of the peace reported to the police.Suffolk's top cop, Paul Scott-Lee, will reveal to Police Authority members on Friday that projected figures show reports of public disorder (including everything from neighbour disputes and drunkenness to domestic incidents) increasing from 14,613 in 2000/1 to around 18,000 for the year ending next month.
A MAJOR rise in public disorder has hit Suffolk in the past year with a 23 per cent increase in breaches of the peace reported to the police.
Suffolk's top cop, Paul Scott-Lee, will reveal to Police Authority members on Friday that projected figures show reports of public disorder (including everything from neighbour disputes and drunkenness to domestic incidents) increasing from 14,613 in 2000/1 to around 18,000 for the year ending next month.
Members will hear that more than a third of such incidents reported relate to public disorder in a public place and around one in five relate to private addresses.
"Ages of those persons involved can range from eight years upwards," the Chief Constable will say in his report headed "Public Disorder Incidents".
An in-depth study of disorder undertaken by the Suffolk County Council Community Safety Unit will reveal that, while reported incidents are spread across Suffolk, Ipswich had by far the highest with hotspots in the town centre (and Cardinal Park in particular), Whitton/Castle Hill/Whitehouse as well as the Priory Heath/Gainsborough areas.
Authority members will hear that while around 26.7 public disorder incidents were reported per 1,000 people in Suffolk, in Ipswich Town ward the figure was more than five times that at around 147.8 per 1,000. In Gainsborough, the figure was more than double the country average.
- 1 Road near Ipswich flooded as drivers forced to find alternative routes
- 2 Thunderstorms warning upgraded in Suffolk ahead of rain
- 3 Fire breaks out in café near Ipswich town centre
- 4 VW Golf stolen from Ipswich road after thieves take car keys from home
- 5 Window smashed at Ipswich home in spate of attempted burglaries
- 6 Severe delays on A12 as carriageway floods during extreme rainfall
- 7 Four people charged as police find machete after brawl in Ipswich street
- 8 Pub with 'gorgeous views' named one of UK's best waterside drinking spots
- 9 'Tit for tat' attacks driven by gang members vying for position, police say
- 10 Car carrying three passengers not wearing seatbelts stopped on A12
Mr Scott-Lee will add however, that relative to the rest of the country, Suffolk's figures rate well in terms of actual numbers.
"Whilst Suffolk is experiencing a rise in the number of public disorder incidents, it had the lowest number of public disorder incidents in England and Wales and the second lowest public disorder incidents per 1,000 of the population in the country.
"While any rise is concerning, it must be put into context," Mr Scott-Lee will say.
"No precise reasons can be found for the increases but it is significant that there are a high number of public disorder incidents that occur at or near licensed premises; at the end of licensing hours; or which involve drunkenness."
He will tell Authority members that the increase in reports of public disorder may be due in part to a change in recording practices, a growth in the number of Suffolk's licensed premises and increased reporting due to the accessibility of mobile phones. He will also note an increase in underage "binge-drinking".
Mr Scott-Lee will outline a number of initiatives being taken to address the increase including "high visibility patrolling at key times", the launch of Operation Nightsafe in Ipswich (a multi-agency approach to town centre safety at night) and the initiation of the Town Centre Unit in Ipswich (a dedicated town centre police team).
Steps taken to stop anti-social behaviour include the introduction of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts – a scheme aimed at influencing the behaviour of council tenants and their children by holding people accountable for their actions.