Mum’s terror as violence flares twice within six days in Ipswich residential area

The area in Clarkson Street where two gangs fought on September 23

The area in Clarkson Street where two gangs fought on September 23 - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich mother-of-two has told of how she was left terrified after getting caught up in the middle of fighting between groups of young men wielding bricks, lumps of wood and an axe.

Residents have spoken out after violence erupted between two sets of males in Wilberforce Road and Clarkson Street twice within six days.

A surge in drug-dealing in the area is believed to have been one of the contributory factors in the disorder.

Police and other agencies have stressed they are tackling the issues, which are said to have worsened in the last four weeks.

One resident claimed to have seen drugs being openly sold on the corner of Clarkson Street and Wilberforce Street at breakfast time.

The resident said she was walking in Clarkson Street at around 2.30pm on September 23 when violence erupted between 15 to 20 young men.

“They were fighting between themselves. They used stones (masonry) from the walls. I saw one with an axe in his hand and others with big sticks. Things were flying through the air.

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“They were screaming and running. I was in the middle of it with my shopping.

“I just had to walk near to a house to protect myself.

“There was a man with a baby in a pushchair and he had to shield the baby by putting the pushchair against a wall and using his body to protect the baby.

“I was completely scared.

“We have problems with drugs here.”

The resident said she has lived in the area for three years, but in the last month things have changed.

She said: “It was so quiet here, but now it is awful.

“If you come here in the morning around 7.30am to 8am you can see them selling drugs.”

Another man said: “It’s getting really, really bad around here.”

Although the groups involved in the fighting in Clarkson Street, and in Wilberforce Street last Tuesday, dispersed before a heavy police presence arrived, seven arrests were subsequently made.

Six of those are in relation to drug offences. The suspects were detained when police swooped at a business premises in Hadleigh Road

At least five are from the London area and all are aged between 15 and 19.

They are currently on police bail until December.

After a separate arrest which took place while police were in the area following the incident in Wilberforce Street a 20-year-old male from Ipswich has been charged with possession of an offensive weapon in public - a lock knife.

Detective Inspector Matt Connick stressed officers are determined to tackle the problems which have arisen in the area.

“We are looking at an element of this being down to Class A drug dealing and incorporating it into our response to drug dealing in Ipswich, which has been a priority.”

Police are aware of dealers targeting the Wilberforce Street, Clarkson Street, Jubilee Park and Victoria Street areas.

“These have been one of our priority areas for a little while now and we would ask for anyone who knows anything about either of the incidents in Clarkson Street or Wilberforce Street - or sees groups congregating and behaving anti-socially - to contact us.”

Max Stocker, a spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council, said: “We have increased CCTV provisions in that vicinity recently and are working closely with police and other agencies.”

Anyone who can help police should telephone Detective Constable Emma Ferguson on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.