Squeeze no excuse for crime

ONLY days after experts warned that the economic squeeze could lead to an increase in crime, the Ipswich area has seen three extremely nasty incidents.

ONLY days after experts warned that the economic squeeze could lead to an increase in crime, the Ipswich area has seen three extremely nasty incidents.

In the first a high-performance car was hijacked at Wherstead.

The reason for the car-jacking was unclear - it was probably either taken to be used as a getaway vehicle in another crime, or it was stolen to order and will have been packed off to a foreign buyer by now.

Whatever has happened to it, the chances are that it will no longer look like it did when it was taken.

The attempted theft of a lorry from the A14 early yesterday saw criminals pretending to be police officers, and the raid on Ladbrokes must have been terrifying for the staff as they were confronted by robbers brandishing a crossbow.

All of these incidents could have come straight from the scripts of The Bill - and they will inevitably be stretching Ipswich-based police officers and detectives.

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However while hard economic times might encourage some people to boost their income illegally, there can be no excuse for this seriously criminal behaviour.

All three crimes clearly involved a considerable amount of planning and those involved hoped to gain large sums of money or high-value goods.

All right-thinking people will be hoping today that the criminals made enough mistakes for the police to quickly track them down and bring them to justice.

KEITH Martin made a real difference to sport in Suffolk.

As manager of AFC Sudbury when the club was formed back in the 1990s, he helped turn two highly successful Suffolk non-league teams into one which attracted regional and national attention by making regular appearances in the FA Vase final.

Away from the world of local football, he was also a keen motorsport enthusiast and a prominent sponsor of the Ipswich Witches.

All this was achieved while he built and ran a successful business which provided work for scores of people.

He may have originally come from Derbyshire, but Keith Martin made his home and his name in Suffolk - and the county has benefitted from his skill and enthusiasm in both the business and sporting worlds.

The sympathies of everyone who knew and admired him will today be with his family as they mourn a man who truly left his mark on the community.

AMERICAN politics can be somewhat mystifying for the rest of the world, but once every four years the attention of the world is concentrated on the battle between the Democrats and Republicans for the world's most powerful job.

Ipswich Labour agent John Cook is set to get a close look at the battle as he joins Barack Obama's campaign for the last week of the battle at the end of next month.

While the rest of the world has no say in who does take over the tenancy of the White House next January, it is fair to say that we all have an interest because it is the man who sits in the Oval Office who effectively decides the course of world history over the next four years.

Mr Cook may have only a tiny role in that campaign, but some of the ideas he picks up just might feature in the next general election campaign back here in Ipswich.