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Police revolution

PUBLISHED: 21:15 16 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:47 02 March 2010

A MAJOR new policing initiative to make the streets of south east Ipswich safer is being launched today.

In a groundbreaking initiative which could result in changes in policing across the town, the move will mean more officers and more co-operation between agencies and councils.

A MAJOR new policing initiative to make the streets of south east Ipswich safer is being launched today.

In a groundbreaking initiative which could result in changes in policing across the town, the move will mean more officers and more co-operation between agencies and councils.

Six extra police officers will be on patrol in the Gainsborough, Holywells and Priory Heath borough wards to improve quality of life for residents.

The officers will be part of the new Community Reassurance Team and they aim to lower crime in the area.

The priorities of the team include reducing the number of burglaries, vehicle crime, criminal damage and anti-social behaviour and increase feelings of public safety.

Superintendent Tim Beach, one of the project managers, said: "People have raised issues about policing and how we police south east Ipswich for a long time.

"I think we may have let people down and we need to try to make it better than it is."

The initiative will be led on the ground by Inspector Dave Dring and he believes the new initiative will have a big impact on people's lives in the area.

He said: "It is an exciting project and is a really positive move for the south east of Ipswich. It is about rebuilding confidence in the police and we are all looking forward to the future.

"We have had some positive comments from residents and owners of local businesses and over the next few weeks and months, people will see a lot more of us.

"We will be working with intelligence to target persistent offenders who have been making lives a misery."

Supt Tim Beach added: "This project is intended to provide a greater police presence in the three wards, Gainsborough, Holywells and Priory Heath as a deterrent and also reassurance.

"Police officers will be working as part of a team along with borough and county council employees who provide services in that area. This is a great opportunity to work together.

"I have no doubt this will improve the quality of life for many people in south east Ipswich. We will seek these improvements and report back to residents, council members and the police authority," Supt Beach added.

There had been only three Community Police Officers (CPO's) covering the three wards but that figure will now increase to six and they will also now be supported by three Community Support Officers (CSO's).

If the operation proves to be a success, then it will be copied and used as a model of policing for other parts of Ipswich.

There has been an increase of more than 60 police officers in Ipswich under the Suffolk First programme and that has meant there could be more officers on the street so the police coverage in other parts of the town should not be affected.

A number of consultation events in south east Ipswich were held when residents were asked how safe they felt and what they considered to be the biggest problems in their area.

It was not just adults that gave their views and one consultation took place at Holywells High School to find out what children were concerned about.

Mr Beach said: "People have told us they are not happy and we need to respond to more anti-social behaviour, graffiti, damage and youths hanging around on street corners."

The multi-agency team will be based in the Robert Milne House in Felixstowe Road and will cover many aspects to improve quality of life for people in the area.

A recent environmental action day saw teams of police, firefighters, DVLA vehicle inspectors and council officials join together to tidy the area.

The new Community Reassurance Team will continue this philosophy and two community caretakers, employed by Ipswich Borough Council, will be making further improvements to the area.

Also included in the team will be Ipswich Borough and Suffolk County council officials to improve the quality of people's lives. The project will also provide mobile CCTV cameras in key areas and make the reporting of environmental issues easier by using the Cleaner Ipswich Hotline - 01473 433000.

Chief superintendent Geoff Munns added: "The new team is made up of staff who want to make a difference. I want them to get close to residents and businesses - who have told us they want a better service and are prepared to support this new initiative.

"It will need all of us, including the community, to pull together if real improvements are to be secured."

n What do you think? How much impact will the new initiative have? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk


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