Special Christmas message for criminals

POLICE in Felixstowe are today offering the town's most persistent criminals a special gift this Christmas time – a premium service to ensure they don't offend.

POLICE in Felixstowe are today offering the town's most persistent criminals a special gift this Christmas time – a premium service to ensure they don't offend.

Beat officers are going to "adopt" a couple of troublemakers each and give them personal attention over the coming weeks, keeping a very close eye on them.

Felixstowe sector commander Insp Andy Bushell said officers had identified a number of criminals living in Felixstowe who were responsible for large amounts of the crime committed in the town.

These included burglaries, drug dealing, car crime, shoplifting, and anti-social problems, such as disorder and criminal damage.


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"We have studied the historical background of what we are calling our core or persistent offenders," said Insp Bushell.

"These are people living in the community here and over time have caused that community problems through their offending.

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"What we have decided to do now because of their convictions is to offer them something special – a premium service.

"It will be premium because they will be receiving very special attention from us.

"We will be paying them visits to their homes, sending them letters to know that we are not just thinking about them but are keeping a close watch on their movements and activities, and we will send them Christmas cards, too.

"I think they deserve this service because of their past activities and I am sure the public will agree."

Community police officers will be assigned certain offenders to follow, visit and monitor during the operation, run by Sgt Mick Richardson.

Although the operation is being launched to coincide with the run-up to Christmas and ensure a peaceful and crime-free festive season, it will carry on well into the New Year.

It is the latest in a series of pro-active initiatives co-ordinated by Felixstowe police to crack down on crime – and which is already having great success.

During the summer months, hard work by officers ensured that all types of crime at the resort fell with burglaries down 16 per cent, nuisance and disorder down 18pc, vehicle crime down 30pc, and criminal damage down nine pc.

Violent crime, which is causing concern elsewhere, was also down – 3.85 crimes per 1,000 residents compared with 5.2 per 1,000 last year.

The success has been down to schemes like Nightsafe where officers are working with licensees and community leaders to identify troublemakers and ban them from clubs and pubs, and projects such as Operation Eleanor to deal with boy racers.

Beat officers have also been used in a pro-active way, moved around the town as a team to target problems when they arise and nip them in the bud.

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