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Police to up patrols as Ipswich church struck by vandals weeks after Brickmakers Wood damage

PUBLISHED: 11:06 22 August 2017

Several windows have been broken. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Several windows have been broken. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Police are set to up patrols in a troubled part of Ipswich plagued by vandals after a church has reported four vandalism attacks in the last week.

The Holy Trinity Church in Ipswich has been vandalised four times in the last week. Pictured is church warden Lorna Hammett. Picture: GREGG BROWNThe Holy Trinity Church in Ipswich has been vandalised four times in the last week. Pictured is church warden Lorna Hammett. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Holy Trinity Church in Back Hamlet was first targeted on the weekend of August 12 and 13 where three windows were smashed, five glass panes were broken and a section of the memorial garden destroyed.

The church was struck again on August 17, where a glass panel of a noticeboard was smashed, before a third attack on August 18 where a group of teenagers climbed the gates into the church’s grounds and left rubbish.

On Sunday night, neighbours reported that a group of teenagers were seen again in the grounds of the 175-year-old church, although no damage was caused.

The Holy Trinity Church in Back Hamlet, Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANTThe Holy Trinity Church in Back Hamlet, Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

A headstone was also overturned and masonry work damaged on one of the occasions.

Church warden Lorna Hammett said: “It’s really disheartening – the church hasn’t got money, no churches have nowadays. It’s mindless - the collection money every week goes into an account and it’s going to have to come out of that.”

While some damage can be covered by the church’s insurance, each claim costs £250.

Church warden Lorna Hammett inspecting the damage. Picture: ARCHANTChurch warden Lorna Hammett inspecting the damage. Picture: ARCHANT

Among the windows smashed are part of a stained glass window – estimated to cost around £1,300 to repair – and some of the listed Georgian sash windows – believed to be the only ones in Suffolk.

Mrs Hammett said CCTV cameras could now be installed.

The issue comes after a string of vandalism attacks on the nearby Brickmakers Wood project over the last three weeks, resulting in damage costing thousands of pounds to repair.

Police have said they intend to up patrols in the area, although at this stage it is not clear if the Brickmakers Wood and church incidents are linked.

A spokesperson for Suffolk police said: “Antisocial behaviour such as criminal damage is a particular problem in Ipswich and we will be increasing our patrols following recent incidents to pursue prosecutions against those who persistently commit offences.

“Often the vital key to catching those responsible could be provided by a member of the public calling us with information regarding something they have seen or heard and believe to be suspicious. We therefore urge members of the public not to ignore something that seems out of place.”

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