Residents' youths fear after fire

RESIDENTS are today appealing for a dispersal order to be placed following a series of incidents by youths in the area. Within the last six months residents claim incidents involving gangs of youths in the Bramford end of Bramford Road and Henniker Road have become more frequent.

RESIDENTS are today appealing for a dispersal order to be placed following a series of incidents by youths in the area.

Within the last six months residents claim incidents involving gangs of youths in the Bramford end of Bramford Road and Henniker Road have become more frequent.

But many residents say things came to a head when a suspicious fire broke out in the former Churchills pub, in Adair Road, last Wednesday evening .

Two teenagers have now been arrested on suspicion of starting the fire.

Now residents are appealing to the police to get the situation under control and save the area from becoming a no-go area in the evenings.

One resident, who did not wish to be named for fear of reprisals said: "They are constantly outside on the streets in big groups just hanging out and generally making a nuisance. It is very intimidating and can make you scared to go to the corner shop.

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"They are out there until 1am and sometimes even later. If you go out and ask them to move away from your property you get verbal abuse.

"The police are called out four or five times a week to deal with them and something needs to be done because people are getting fed up and taking the situation into their own hands.

"There will be anarchy here soon and a dispersal order will at least move the teenagers out of our streets.

"Many people have started taking about moving and I know they would be happy to stay if the problem was solved."

Whitehouse councillor, Albert Grant, sympathised with the residents.

He said: "We are working with police to see what can be done in the area and I want to re-assure those living here that we are not just ignoring the situation.

"Many of the youngsters do not actually live in the area and so there is a difficulty in locating them but if they are found we may be able to discuss the possibility of applying for Anti Social Behaviour Orders.

"It is easy to ask for dispersal orders but this just moves things out of one area into another."

Inspector Martin Barnes-Smith, who polices the west of Ipswich, said: "We do not want to go straight for a dispersal order because there are other options available to us.

"We agree that there is a problem in the area but it is not as bad as it has been in other areas of Ipswich and moving the children on does not sort out the problem.

"We are talking with councillors, youth workers and other agencies to try and solve the problem. Until then we will be policing the area more tightly."

n. Do you live in the area? What do you think of the problem? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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