Red Cross staff determined to carry on after Chevallier Street office in Ipswich targeted by criminals again

Tone Tanser clearing up after the break-in at the Red Cross office in Chevallier Street

Tone Tanser clearing up after the break-in at the Red Cross office in Chevallier Street - Credit: Archant

A Red Cross office supporting hundreds of people each week has been left reeling by the third criminal attack in 14 months.

Damage caused to a window during break-in at the Red Cross office in Chevallier Street

Damage caused to a window during break-in at the Red Cross office in Chevallier Street - Credit: Archant

But staff at the charity outpost have said they are determined to brush of the latest burglary and carry on as normal.

After an arson attack in September 2014 and a break-in in July staff and volunteers at Red Cross in Chevallier Street could have been forgiven for thinking they had suffered their fair share of bad luck.

But on Friday 20 the office was again targeted by crooks who smashed their way into the building through a window, broke open a fire exit and forced open a door locked by a keypad.

Once inside, staff member Mark Bradley said, the burglars left rooms looking like they had been ransacked.

From left: Martyn Peck (Youth and Humanitarian Education team), Mark Bradley (Independent living man

From left: Martyn Peck (Youth and Humanitarian Education team), Mark Bradley (Independent living manager) and Toni Tanser (Support at home Coordinator) clearing up after the break-in at the Red Cross office in Chevallier Street - Credit: Archant


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“There was glass everywhere, there was paperwork all over the place,” he said.

“It looked a lot worse than it was but when you walked in it looked like someone had turned it upside down and shaken it.”

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Two laptops, a desktop computer and cash-filled collecting tins were taken in the raid.

“It just makes our job so much harder and we’re supporting quite a number of people in Ipswich,” Mr Bradley said, adding it could take weeks or months for everything to be fixed or replaced.

“Everything they have stolen is unusable which makes it even worse,” he said. “They can’t even sell them.

“But if they turned up here needing help we’d still give it. “It’s a sad state of affairs knowing there are people who are pushed to that situation.”

However the team of 20 people who use the office each week have picked themselves up – again – and quickly returned to work.

“We’re known as a resilient organisation. We deal in disaster scenes so we’d look a bit daft if we ran about like it was a big disaster.

“It’s made us more determined.

“We’re getting good at it now after a fire and two break-ins but we shouldn’t have to. We don’t want to have to keep bouncing back, we want to be looking forward.”

Anyone who can help the centre out, or would like to volunteer, can contact the Red Cross or visit the office.

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