No easy answers to Kesgrave crime

POLICE pledged to do everything possible to tackle anti-social behaviour in Kesgrave - but warned residents there were no easy answers.About 30 residents told tales of litter, vandalism, graffiti and public sex in a meeting with some of the area's top police officials.

POLICE pledged to do everything possible to tackle anti-social behaviour in Kesgrave - but warned residents there were no easy answers.

About 30 residents told tales of litter, vandalism, graffiti and public sex in a meeting with some of the area's top police officials.

Officers decided to hold the meeting after receiving an anonymous letter from residents plagued by yobbish youngsters, leaving them too scared to come forward.

Speaking at the meeting at the town council offices last night, Woodbridge sector commander Inspector Ben Cook called on the community to work together in tackling the problems.


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He said: "There is obviously a need for this meeting. We want to make sure we are aware of everything that is going on and we want to try and work out a way forward.

"But we know we are not the only people who can help with this problem, we need help, support and willingness from the community."

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Anxious residents voiced concern over vandalism, litter, graffiti and noise from car stereos.

One woman, whose house backs on to Pilborough's Walk, claimed she was regularly woken up in the early hours of the morning by youngsters hanging about in the area.

She said: "I have had couples having sex against my fence, I have had tyres set alight near my garden.

"We've tried to call the police but we don't get any response."

Inspector Cook urged residents to call 999 as soon as any problems occur.

He said: "We will do our best to get an officer out as soon as we can. It may not always be possible to have someone on the scene straight away but the sooner we receive the calls the better.

"There is no point waiting until the morning."

Residents said they believed crime would be greatly reduced if there were more facilities for young people in the area.

One man said: "We keep getting told how Kesgrave is a large town now but it is not, it's just a large housing estate. It doesn't have the facilities of a town."

Police said it was important not to tar all of the town's young people with the same brush and said it was only a minority causing problems.

Pc Lisa Root, Kesgrave community officer, said she was working with youth organisations in the area to try and come up with answers.

Members of the public were invited to attend a meeting at Kesgrave Community Centre on December 3 to discuss youth provision in the town.

Insp Cook said: "Tonight's meeting has very much confirmed in my mind what we thought were the issues anyway, as well as highlighting some more.

"I give you my sincere pledge that we will be working very hard on this area."

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