Police move sparks crime fear

FEARS that crime in Felixstowe will escalate because of the removal of 20 per cent of its frontline police officers was voiced today by the town's mayor.

FEARS that crime in Felixstowe will escalate because of the removal of 20 per cent of its frontline police officers was voiced today by the town's mayor.

Doreen Savage was deeply saddened by the decision to cut resources at the resort at a time when they were winning the battle against crime.

Eastern area commanders at Suffolk Constabulary have decided the town should lose six officers - one of its response teams - with the posts transferred to Lowestoft, a crime hotspot.

Woodbridge, Leiston and Beccles will also lose officers.

Mrs Savage said: "I think that it is very sad. Having got crime to an all-time low in Felixstowe it would have been nice to have kept it there, but I hate to think what will happen now.

"Six officers is a lot. We would have complained if it was three or four, but six is too many to lose.

Most Read

"I would have thought common sense would make those taking these decisions see that that is too many and that almost certainly we might see an escalation in crime - I would hope not, but I am almost certain that is what will happen. We will be jolly lucky if it doesn't.

"I know the community police officers we have will work very hard to keep it down but they cannot be everywhere."

Mrs Savage praised Felixstowe police commander Insp Andy Bushell and his officers for the enormous impact they have had on the resort's crime in the past couple of years with a serious of initiatives to crackdown on drink-related incidents, vandalism and persistent offenders.

The last police forum heard that burglaries were down 16pc, nuisance and disorder down 18pc, vehicle crime had fallen 30pc, and criminal damage had dropped nine pc.

Mrs Savage added: "What I want to know is why we are losing officers. The government continually tells us there are more officers than ever before, yet we are losing them."

She felt Felixstowe's main crime problems were connected with anti-social behaviour and stressed that there were not large numbers of burglaries or violent incidents, and hoped older people's fear of crime would not increase.

Eastern Area operation manager Supt John Everett has said officers must be deployed where they are needed most and Lowestoft was suffering particular problems.

The numbers of calls per month has soared by hundreds since last summer and officers' workload was 20pc higher than their colleagues at other stations.

Felixstowe would be able to call on the Area Support Team if it has special needs. The team would provide resources to tackle local problems - including patrols to tackle anti-social behaviour, targeted operations to catch burglars, drug dealers and those involved in criminal damage, or policing at local events.

n What effect do you think having less officers will have at Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter