More money to fight anti-social behivour

IPSWICH was today revealed as one of 50 major towns and cities that will benefit from a cash injection to fight antisocial behaviour.Around £50,000 is being pumped into the town over the next two years to crackdown on petty criminals, thugs and vandals.

IPSWICH was today revealed as one of 50 major towns and cities that will benefit from a cash injection to fight antisocial behaviour.

Around £50,000 is being pumped into the town over the next two years to crackdown on petty criminals, thugs and vandals.

The money will be used to educate schoolchildren, encourage people to report incidents of antisocial behaviour and to extend current measures.

In the past two years, 28 antisocial behaviour orders (Asbos) have been issued in Ipswich, while dispersal orders have been introduced in Reynolds Road and Queen's Way.

The tactic, which stops troublemakers gathering in the two shopping parades between 9pm and 6am, was introduced after widespread problems on the estates over the summer months.

Geoff Munns, chief superintendent of Suffolk police, welcomed the new government initiative.

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He said: "Our selection is not a reflection of a town with above average anti-social behaviour.

"It is recognition by the Home Office that the police, the borough council and other agencies have shown the commitment and energy to deliver real improvements through strong partnership working.

"It's our intention, together with the local authority, to identify not only individuals who regularly engage in anti social behaviour, but also target known hot spots across the town causing most concern."

Councillor Paul West, communities portfolio-holder for Ipswich Borough Council, said: "Although Ipswich has not got the scale of problems faced by communities in Manchester or London, the police and borough council are determined to tackle the problems that Ipswich does have head on.

"Tackling anti-social behaviour is the number one priority of many residents. We want to make a difference so people feel safer in their own neighbourhood. If we let the actions of yobs get out of control investment and jobs will suffer - and that will affect cultural development and community pride and confidence.

"That is why we are determined to step up the war against anti-social behaviour, which blights people's lives."

Other places in the eastern region to benefit from the funding include Norwich, Harlow and Great Yarmouth.

Antisocial behaviour incident reporting forms are available from Ipswich's Co-op stores, the borough council and Debman's butchers in Cliff Lane.

If you are a victim of antisocial behaviour, call 0800 1386570.

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www.one-ipswich.com

HOME secretary David Blunkett today pleaded with Ipswich residents to back the government's war on antisocial behaviour.

Announcing the extra funding that will be pumped into the town, he said public support is vital if the crackdown is to be a success.

"We need residents in Ipswich who are prepared to help us if we are to make a lasting difference," he said.

"We need them to become intolerant of those who are blighting their communities - and say enough is enough.

"It's good this is happening more than it was a year ago, but I want to see it happen in greater numbers. The more people have who are prepared to take action, the more councils and police can do to take intimidating groups off street corners or silence noisy neighbours."

Mr Blunkett also pledged the worst cases of antisocial behaviour will be dealt with until 2,500 are closed nationwide.

It was also revealed today the number of Asbos handed out across the country in the past year has topped 2,600.

The police have also used new powers to disperse groups of youths more than 400 times, and closed 150 crack houses under new laws.

In Ipswich, four crack-houses have been closed, while more than 100 people were moved on from Queen's Way and Reynolds Road in the first month of the dispersal orders, introduced in September.

Nationally, at least 100,000 anti-social behaviour cases have been dealt with in the past 12 months.

On just one day in September last year, police and other officials recorded 66,107 incidents of anti-social behaviour - amounting to one every two seconds, or 24.1 million a year.

A Home Office spokeswoman said the figures indicated anti-social behaviour measures were "starting to bite", but that the government must do more.

Is your estate blighted by antisocial behaviour? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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