Police track gangs in Felixstowe

PLAIN clothes police have been tracking drunken gangs leaving Felixstowe's nightclubs to try to find the vandals leaving a trail of damage across the resort.

PLAIN clothes police have been tracking drunken gangs leaving Felixstowe's nightclubs to try to find the vandals leaving a trail of damage across the resort.

Families and shopkeepers have faced bills for hundreds of pounds after waking to find their walls and fences smashed, cars scratched and wings mirrors snapped off, and businesses' windows broken.

In an effort to catch the culprits, police have been carrying out Operation Ember for the past two weekends, following gangs of youths as they meander home.

Officers in plain clothes have been lurking in the shadows, keeping a watch on the youngsters in the early hours as they walk up from the seafront and through town centre shopping and housing areas.


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Sgt Mick Richardson, in charge of the community police officer team at Felixstowe, said the operation had resulted in two arrests and the prevention of damage to at least two properties.

The operations were the first of a number of similar ones which would be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights in the weeks and months ahead.

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"Two people were arrested in connection with attempts to smash the windows of commercial premises in the town centre - they were not successful, but we were in arresting them," said Sgt Richardson.

"A lot of damage is caused in the early hours of the morning as people make their way home from the nightclubs and it causes a lot of distress and cost to the people whose homes, gardens and cars are attacked.

"We are keen to put an end to it and would like to see people make their way home quietly and sensibly.

"Most of the criminal damage is due to alcohol and we will be taking action for not just incidents of damage, but also drunk and disorderly, fighting and other offences to try to deter this anti-social behaviour."

In the past officers have said that they have been able to follow a trail of damage when a gang has picked randomly on different properties, bravado fuelled by drink, as they have come up Garrison Lane or Bent Hill and then through the residential streets or Hamilton Road.

The closure order imposed on the Bodrum Grill takeaway - forcing it to close at 1am when it had been staying open until 5am - at the Ordnance has also had a huge effect on curbing night-time crime problems in the town.

nHave you been affected by late night problems in Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@evenignstar.co.uk

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