Safety petition launched after student 'followed' along the Waterfront
PUBLISHED: 16:30 12 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:42 12 July 2019
Town pastors Barbara and Pete helping a member of the public who had fallen ill. Picture: SOPHIE BARNETT
A student from Ipswich, who recently warned women about an "intimidating" experience she had whilst walking along the Waterfront, has backed calls for more protection for bar and nightclub workers in the town.
Last month Lucy Adams, 24, had a massive response to a Facebook post where she described how she was followed by a man in a black Mercedes who pulled up beside her and made sexual comments.
Miss Adams said: "Ipswich has got so much worse recently for sexual assaults, stabbings and other violent attacks. I don't feel safe walking around by myself at night.
"I used to work at a restaurant and sometimes I wouldn't finish until 2am - if I couldn't get a lift I had to spend so much money on taxis because I didn't want to walk home alone at that time."
Read more: Warning after woman followed along the Waterfront by man in Mercedes
After reading about Lucy's experience and seeing the reaction to her post, the director of a security firm in Ipswich is planning a buddy scheme where bar and nightclub workers and students can be escorted home by DBS-checked security staff.
Josh Hayes, 25, has worked as a bouncer in Ipswich for two years and has set up a petition with the aim of offering protection to those walking home late on Friday and Saturdays.
Mr Hayes said: "It's time we looked after those who serve us at night and it's our duty as civilians, security officers and members of this town that we ensure the safety of those who wish to feel safe walking home at night."
Mr Hayes thinks his scheme will help staff that work at night feel confident they can get home safely, rather than worrying about what is waiting for them when they leave work.
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He has had backing from nightclub managers and has had a letter of support from the management team at the Three Wise Monkeys.
You can find out more about the 'Night Time Wardens for Ipswich Town' Petition - here
Superintendent Kerry Cutler, who oversees policing in Ipswich, said: "Police in Ipswich work closely with a variety of partnership agencies, to keep the town a safe place in which to live, work and visit no matter the time of day or night.
"The Town Pastors work alongside police, door staff and CCTV and are out on Friday and Saturday nights, being a positive influence on the streets and providing support to vulnerable people.
"You will often find them giving dehydrated people some water to drink, helping people to get a taxi or waiting with vulnerable people.
"Additionally, the Ipswich Central Street Rangers are integral to the Business Improvement District and provide reassurance to the public and speak regularly with shops and businesses about how to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour.
"There is also an extensive CCTV camera network that is run by Ipswich Borough Council that is an effective resource for identifying suspects, witnesses, and vehicles used in crimes.
"We are very happy to meet with Mr Hayes to hear about his ideas and suggestions he may have, as we are always keen to hear the views of the public we serve."