Neighbourhood Watch in red light area
POLICE have today hailed the launch of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme on the outskirts of Ipswich's red light area as a “great opportunity”.Residents in London Road have pulled together to launch the community crime forum and will have their first general meeting on Thursday .
POLICE have today hailed the launch of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme on the outskirts of Ipswich's red light area as a “great opportunity”.
Residents in London Road have pulled together to launch the community crime forum and will have their first general meeting on Thursday .
Ron Alder, chairman of the group, said plans were in place to resurrect Neighbourhood Watch in the area prior to the killings of five women in the town.
However strength of support increased in the wake of the deaths, largely because people were unhappy with how London Road was perceived.
Mr Alder said: “I think what has happened boosted the numbers for the first meeting but the plans were in place before that.
“A lot of people will think we have jumped on the bandwagon and will think it will fizzle out and we don't want to give that impression. I think the interest will stay from those on the committee.
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“Everyone is really annoyed that we have been labelled as living in the centre of the red light area because if there is one, it is West End Road and Handford Road.
“Occasionally we get kerb crawlers through here and we are hoping to put them off a bit. I think that is probably the biggest concern around her.”
Mr Alder said about 30 people had attended a meeting earlier this month to express their interest in launching the scheme.
He said people had been shocked at what had happened in November and December and wanted to do something positive for the area.
Steve Wright, 48, the man charged with the alleged murders of Tania Nicol, 19, Gemma Adams, 25, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, lived in the street and the world's media descended on London Road when he was arrested in December.
Neighbourhood Watch has operated from the street in the past but the former chairman moved away some time ago and it disbanded.
Bruce Robinson, inspector for central Ipswich, said: “I am from a police point of view delighted that Neighbourhood Watch is operating from the area again.
“It enables these people to exchange information and we can also provide them with information about crime reduction initiatives.
“It is a great opportunity for all of us and I am always pleased when communities help themselves.”
The first general meeting of the group will take place at 7.30pm tomorrow at The Oasis Centre in Burlington Road. Anyone from the street is welcome to attend.