Police fear crime rise in summer heat

POLICE in Ipswich today warned there could be an increase in violent crime as temperatures rise.

Josh Warwick

POLICE in Ipswich today warned there could be an increase in violent crime as temperatures rise.

The admission comes on the back of a string of recent attacks which have prompted fears that booze-fuelled bad behaviour could blight the summer.

While violent crime in both Suffolk and Ipswich is down, detectives concede that warmer evenings have brought about an increase in town centre party-goers - and with it the potential for drunken violence.

Police sources today described the recent spate of violence as “isolated incidents” and vowed to crackdown on the issue with increased patrols and effective use of CCTV technology.

The force also highlighted last year's relatively trouble-free Christmas period, which has traditionally been a flash point for disturbances.

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Ipswich Borough Council leader Liz Harsant said the recent sequence of incidents were cause for concern.

And she said she had heard anecdotal evidence that fewer people were visiting the town centre bars and clubs for fear of trouble.

Mrs Harsant said: “It's very disturbing and I have been told nightlife has dropped off considerably in the last 18 months as a result. The town used to be vibrant on a Thursday night, but that is no longer the case.

Overall, violent crime in Suffolk is down 6.8 per cent, while in Ipswich it is down 3.2pc.

However, detection rates for such offences has fallen in recent years, from 78pc in 2002/03 to 65pc in 2006/07.

Lance Workman, head of psychology at Bath Spa University College, has linked hot weather to levels of serotonin in the brain, which can cause aggression.

He said most of the significant riots in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s began as temperatures soared, while riots in America follow a similar pattern.

Violent crimes including murder, rape and domestic violence are also more likely in the summer, research suggests.

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