Dog unit and plain clothes officers help police tackle drug crimes in Whitehouse Park

Whitehouse Park in Ipswich has been a problem spot for drug crime. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Whitehouse Park in Ipswich has been a problem spot for drug crime. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Police have upped patrols around the Whitehouse area of Ipswich to help crack down on drug crimes.

Homeowners around west Ipswich had reported concerns over drug use in the Whitehouse ward, including around open spaces in the area such as Whitehouse Park.

As part of measures to track those responsible, police increased patrols and have carried out more work with plain clothes officers and police dogs to catch those responsible.

It is understood to be predominantly involving youngsters, with the measures having helped make referrals to the youth offending team.

Inspector Kevin Horton from Ipswich west safer neighbourhood team, said: “Following a partners and community meeting in November, concerns were raised regarding youths congregating in the vicinity of Whitehouse Park.

“Officers from our safer neighbourhood team responded to these concerns by carrying out increased plain clothed patrols and performed spot checks in areas where specific concerns had been raised in a bid to identify anyone carrying or using cannabis, or any other illegal substances.

“Through these operations, the team were able to stop and search a small group of youths and, where appropriate, we made a referral to the youth offending team to assess the needs of each young person.”

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The work follows a string of measures already implemented by police this year, which has seen a reduction in the number of needles and drug paraphernalia being found in the area.

It is believed the current issues are largely around cannabis substances.

Work has also been ongoing around drug dealing reported in Luther Road, with police “working closely with the council to seek a possession order on a property”, according to the latest SNT monthly report.

Inspector Horton added: “Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults is a priority for Suffolk police and we work closely with partners, including councils, support services, charities and other organisations to protect vulnerable people.

“Drugs and drug use can cause detrimental harm and destruction to individuals, families and communities and we need to get these young people the support they need early on.”