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More bobbies on Suffolk beat

PUBLISHED: 16:14 17 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:41 03 March 2010

MORE than 70 extra beat bobbies are being drafted in to patrol Suffolk's streets to stem rising crime levels, with many officers specifically targeting town centre hot-spots.

MORE than 70 extra beat bobbies are being drafted in to patrol Suffolk's streets to stem rising crime levels, with many officers specifically targeting town centre hot-spots.

The 74 recruits, who will join 23 new officers recently deployed across Suffolk, will start work over the next few weeks as Suffolk Constabulary attempts to make the county the safest in the country, it has emerged.

The news comes as Suffolk County Council prepares to meet tomorrow to discuss the increasing crime rates.

Twenty-seven of the new officers will be based in the south of the county – 25 of those in Ipswich, where the explosion in town centre nightlife has led to more violent crime.

Of the remainder, 17 will be based in the west of the county and a further seven will take their posts in the force operations department.

East Suffolk will also see the thin blue line bolstered with an extra 23 recruits taking posts in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, a report will be discussed by Suffolk County Council's Caring and Protecting Theme Panel tomorrow which shows the number of offences in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and smaller towns like Eye and Leiston is well above the county average.

The county council's Community Safety Data Review shows the crime rate in Ipswich has risen from about 83 offences per 1,000 people in 1998-99 to 97 in 2000-01.

In Felixstowe, the number of offences rose from 56 per 1,000 people in 1998-99 to 74 in 2000-2001, while in Bury St Edmunds the rise was 94 to 106 offences per 1,000 people.

The average crime rate for larger Suffolk towns was just over 64 offences per 1,000 of the population.

Smaller towns also saw a rise, with Eye's crime rate increasing from 61 offences per 1,000 people in 1998-99 compared to 114 in 2000-01.

In Leiston the figure rose from 81 to 104 offences per 1,000 population during the same period and in Clare it doubled from 22 to 41 per 1,000 of population.

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