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Why did an Ipswich community miss out on £260k crime-busting deal?

PUBLISHED: 19:00 29 July 2020

The bid was aimed at bringing communities together to make the Maple Park area of Ipswich safer. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

The bid was aimed at bringing communities together to make the Maple Park area of Ipswich safer. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

RACHEL EDGE

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore is seeking an explanation from the Home Office after Ipswich missed out on a £260,000 bid to cut crime in one of the town’s most notorious areas.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner,is frustrated at the failure of the Maple Park bid. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner,is frustrated at the failure of the Maple Park bid. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk was one of only nine police authorities to miss out on a share of the government’s £25m safer streets fund – some got as much as £1.5m for three different projects.

Mr Passmore said he was very frustrated that a bid to bring communities together and reduce crime in the Maple Park area of Ipswich had failed to get the money it hoped for – the scheme was drawn up as part of a multi-agency bid including Ipswich council and the communities in the area which had been the focus of gang-related crime in the past.

MORE: Maple Park reopens in a bid to bring people together

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The PCC said: “I really don’t understand why we did not succeed with this. We were told to bid as part of a community effort, which we did, and while some places saw three bids get well over £1m we did not get anything.

“I want to find out from the Home Office why we did not get anything – and to see if there is anyway we can get them to change their mind.”

Ipswich Conservative MP Tom Hunt was also disappointed. He had worked with Mr Passmore on the bid. He said: “I don’t know why this was unsuccessful. I shall be asking the Police minister for the reasons for the failure of the bid. But this is not the only money that the government is spending on the police.

“Suffolk has received money for an extra 50 police officers and we shall carry on applying for a better settlement from the government which is what Suffolk needs. I will be working with Tim on this and I am sure we will be successful in that.”

Mr Hunt said he had understood that there were elements of the bid that policing minister Kit Malthouse was not happy about and would be seeking to understand how future bids for government cash for Suffolk’s police could be more successful.

A total of 35 PCCs did get funding from the scheme and Mr Malthouse said: Crime and Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse said: “Persistent street crime and burglary have a corrosive effect on a neighbourhood, leaving people apprehensive about leaving their homes, and afraid of what they might encounter when they return.

“But simple modifications like better street lighting or CCTV can do a lot to prevent crime. So alongside more focussed thief-taking by the police, these projects should have a big impact on the communities hardest hit by burglars, robbers and villains in general.”


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