Morning attacks worry Milkmen

MILKMEN have gone about their everyday business for years – but many are now feeling anxious about performing their job.In the past two weeks, one milkman has been attacked and two others have got into difficulty.

MILKMEN have gone about their everyday business for years – but many are now feeling anxious about performing their job.

In the past two weeks, one milkman has been attacked and two others have got into difficulty.

A 47-year-old Ipswich milkman was punched in the face by two robbers who tried to steal his takings at about 5.15am in Smart Street on September 27.

Only a week later, on October 4, in an unrelated incident, two Ipswich milkmen got into an altercation after trying to confront a man they saw trying to take milk from a doorstep

Tony , a milkman who lives and works in the Ipswich area, has now spoken out about the anxiety many milkmen feel.

Tony said: "We are out at 5 o'clock in the morning and we are on our own. If you see people out and about – especially if there is more than one of them – you start to wonder what they are doing.

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"It is getting worse as it is getting darker all the time.

"We are all worried and are wondering whether we should be carrying something to defend ourselves. At the end of the day, what are we supposed to do?

"Does someone have to be stabbed or hit over the head with a brick before something is done?

"We need to be warned or given some idea how to react (if something happens)."

Bill Knowles, assistant general manager of Ipswich and Norwich Cooperative Society, has said milkmen must try and put their own safety first.

He said: "Our milkmen are doing what they always have done, which is delivering milk to people's doorsteps. Over the years this has been remarkably trouble-free.

"We have got a bit of a problem. It is a concern when milkmen delivering milk in the early hours of the morning come across people taking milk from people's doorsteps and have to be reprimanded.

"What our milkmen should do, if they get into difficulty, is call for assistance from the police. Our milkmen's health and safety comes first.

"We would like any attacks to continue to be taken seriously by the police, the CPS and the courts."

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Dairy Crest said: "Obviously the safety of employees is taken very seriously. We would always respond if we felt our employees were at risk."

The police have said that the two attacks on milkmen are not connected in anyway, but are offering advice.

A police spokeswoman said: "Police can confirm that they are not linking the two incidents – the attempted robbery on Smart Street on September 27 and the incident on October 4 in Norwich Road.

"Anyone who has any issues or concerns relating to their safety whilst out and about can obtain advice and guidance from our crime reduction officers at Ipswich police on 01473 383141."

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