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Policeman stabbed in night of violence

PUBLISHED: 12:30 20 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:22 03 March 2010

A POLICEMAN was stabbed in an Ipswich street early today in one of three separate attacks which marked a shocking night of violence in the town.

The officer was set upon as he answered a call to an activated alarm at a business premises in St Helen's Street at around 2.

A POLICEMAN was stabbed in an Ipswich street early today in one of three separate attacks which marked a shocking night of violence in the town.

The officer was set upon as he answered a call to an activated alarm at a business premises in St Helen's Street at around 2.50am in a car park near the Le Cheminant Watches Ltd shop. The 29-year-old officer arrived at the scene alone and was stabbed in the abdomen.

He is currently in Ipswich Hospital where he is being treated for the one-inch wound which is not believed to be life threatening.

A 42-year-old Ipswich man was arrested at the scene in connection with the attack and is being questioned by officers.

Around three hours earlier, a man was slashed in the neck with a screwdriver in an attempted street robbery in Lloyds Avenue just before midnight.

The victim, a 20-year-old man from the Ipswich area, received minor injuries from the stabbing and was treated in hospital before being released but nothing was stolen. Two women, a 17-year-old and a 21-year-old and both from Ipswich, were arrested a short distance away on suspicion of attempted robbery.

And hours earlier, a teenaged paperboy was robbed of his mobile phone at knifepoint as he went about his rounds. The 16-year-old delivery boy was stopped by a youth in Newbury Road, in the east of town, at around 5.20pm yesterday.

His attacker, who had the hood of his top pulled over his head to hide his face, threatened the boy with a knife before taking the phone.

News of the night's attacks, which are not believed to related, have shocked those who live and work in Ipswich.

A woman who uses the car ark close where the police officer was stabbed, and asked not to be named, said the area was unlit and needed lighting.

"When we leave work we usually go out together," she said. "It's really quite a shock to hear about this. It is disturbing and really worrying if a police officer is stabbed.

"We'll be extra vigilant and go out there together. As it is, I always make sure I'm with someone or rush to the car. There needs to be some lighting out there."

The stabbing in St Helen's Street is the second time a police officer has been attacked in Ipswich in little over a year.

On January 26, last year, off-duty police officer Inspector Graham Underwood was stabbed around 15 times in the neck with a DIY knife by a man who jumped into his taxi in Lloyds Avenue. Matthew Oakshott, 25, of Byron Road, was jailed for seven years for the attack.

And in July last year, an 26-year-old American tourist suffered slash wounds to his back in an attack at the junction of St Helen's Street and Palmerston Road. A teenager has been charged with wounding with intent and is due to appear at Ipswich Crown Court next month.

No arrests have yet been made in connection with the yesterday's knifepoint robbery of the paperboy in Newbury Road.

Inspector Mike Hinshelwood, of Suffolk Police, said: "It appears the robber presented the knife and wanted to know what the victim had, and all the boy had worth stealing was the mobile phone. It's not reasonable to expect people not to carry a mobile phone but we would remind people to be vigilant."

Police are appealing for witnesses and described the attacker as wearing a light-coloured sweatshirt-type top with the hood pulled over his face.

Today, no one in the area where the incident happened had seen or heard anything take place but residents said the attack worried them.

Jill Aspen, who lives in Lattice Avenue just off Newbury Road, said: "I have only just heard about it and it is worrying.

"A friend of mine who used to work in London said the same things are happening here as they were in London a few years ago. It is a bit too close to home – I have a 15-year-old son and I have made sure that he knows all about it."

Another resident said that he was not surprised by the news.

He said: "Things have been happening round here but you get it anywhere you live, whether you live in Ipswich or anywhere else in the country.

"But it is so early in the evening for something like that to happen. I didn't see anything at all."

The robbery comes as a survey revealed about 1.3 million people had their mobile phones stolen in the past year.

Anyone with information about the robbery should contact Detective Constable Soraya Francis of Ipswich CID on 01473 613500.

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