Safest July for five years

POLICE in Ipswich are celebrating today after crime figures revealed that July was the safest for five years.The number of crimes reported in the force's southern area has steadily decreased over the last two months and officers attribute it to an increase in front line policing and a move away from bureaucracy.

POLICE in Ipswich are celebrating today after crime figures revealed that July was the safest for five years.

The number of crimes reported in the force's southern area has steadily decreased over the last two months and officers attribute it to an increase in front line policing and a move away from bureaucracy.

Chief Superintendent John Fletcher, southern area commander, said: “We had a very good month in July and I would say much of that is a consequence of the front line work we have been doing.

“The total number of recorded crimes fell by 11 per cent compared to June and was 20 pc lower than May.”

As reported in The Evening Star last month, police in the southern area have been given Home Office funding to help improve policing on the front line.

Working with KMPG consultants they implemented a new system for dealing with events which means officers can phone over the details of each crime to an inputting bureau rather than return to the station to type-up details of the crime.

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The force has also increased the use of fixed penalty notices, issuing fines for retail crime and criminal damage as well as public order incidents.

Both initiatives mean officers can spend more time on the beat and less time at the station checking prisoners into custody or typing crime logs into the computer.

Ch Supt Fletcher added: “Obviously when you introduce these things it takes a time for them to take effect and for them to be seen at the results stage.

“Overall crime has now gone down. We don't want to be complacent, we have still seen some slight increases in violent crime and our challenge now is to keep the amount of crime falling.”

The number of crimes detected in July reached 32.4 pc, bringing the year's figures overall to 26pc.

Ch Supt Fletcher added: “We want to keep that going - that is the best figure we have had for two years.

“We have detected twice as many dwelling burglaries this year as last year and we have detected twice as many crimes of class A drug dealing.

“With the drugs it is largely because we had the Crackdown campaign where we executed several warrants and with burglaries it is because they have been a priority for us.

“They have been an issue in the past but we have managed to deal with several offenders and we have had good information from the public and put a lot of resources into it.”

Weblink: www.suffolk.police.uk

Do you feel safe in Suffolk? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail: eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

There were 1,951 crimes reported in the southern area of Suffolk in May 2006. This fell to 1,751 in June and 1,560 in July.

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