Parties clash on law and order

POLITICAL heavyweights have clashed over the issue of law and order during campaign visits to SuffolkHome Secretary Charles Clarke said overall crime was down - and pointed out Suffolk remained one of the safest counties in Britain during a visit to meet police officers and new community safety officers.

POLITICAL heavyweights have clashed over the issue of law and order during campaign visits to Suffolk

Home Secretary Charles Clarke said overall crime was down - and pointed out Suffolk remained one of the safest counties in Britain during a visit to meet police officers and new community safety officers.

Meanwhile shadow cabinet minister Alan Duncan said the government had failed to get a grip on violent crime which was now blighting communities.

Mr Clarke said law and order was a crucial issue in the in the election - but voters in Suffolk should be aware that the county was one of the safest in England.

“Burglaries are down, thefts from cars and thefts of cars are down across the country and I would be astonished if that wasn't also the case in Suffolk which has a very good reputation and a very fine police force,” he said.

“What is a concern is the fear of crime and the issue of anti-social behaviour - and these are both issues we are trying to tackle,” he said.

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During his visit to Ipswich, Mr Duncan said the government's policies had led to an increase in violent crime and action needed to be taken to crack down on criminals.

Mr Duncan was impressed by his visit to the Ipswich Waterfront, but said more needed to be done to ensure areas which were being developed like this had satisfactory infrastructure built in as well.

“You need to ensure there are good roads, schools, and other services for the people moving into the area.

“Mr Prescott is taking about concreting over vast areas of green areas for homes without thinking about the other services that are needed at the same time,” he said.

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