Star's exclusive Cameron interview

VIDEO David Cameron took time off from his whistle-stop visit to Ipswich to visit the Evening Star. He talked to PAUL GEATER and discussed how his party would deal with matters of concern to Ipswich and east Suffolk.

David Cameron took time off from his whistle-stop visit to Ipswich to visit the Evening Star.

He talked to PAUL GEATER and discussed how his party would deal with matters of concern to Ipswich and east Suffolk.>

DAVID Cameron should be starting to know his way around Ipswich after his third visit to the town in ten months.

He said he remains impressed by the way that the town recovered from the red light killings of last winter and spoke of how a Conservative government would help police make communities like those in Suffolk safer.

Mr Cameron also backed moves to reduce the number people taking short-haul flights, particularly flights where there was a more environmentally-friendly alternative like high-speed rail lines.

The Conservative leader said police needed to be freed up from bureaucracy to give them more time on the streets fighting crime and dealing with issues of anti-social behaviour.

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But he also felt more should be done to tackle the causes of crime, especially the drug culture that led the victims of last year's killings into the world of prostitution.

Mr Cameron said: “There does need to be action to tackle the root of the problem of prostitution in the town - and in the country as a whole.

“I have been speaking to the borough council leaders about what happened here and the way the town has been dealing with it and that is very impressive.

“There has to be action to deal with drug addiction right at the heart of the problem which is why I am so pleased to hear about the Somebody's Daughter appeal, and I certainly think it deserves everyone's support.”

Mr Cameron said that to deal with more low level crime, the police should be freed up from the paperwork that follows any arrest.

He said: “If the police arrest anyone for any offence they have to go straight back to the station and fill in lots of forms which takes a great deal of time - time when they could be out on the streets making them safer.

“I want to free the police from that kind of problem and allow officers to go out into the community to do their job.”

There had been great changes to society over recent years changes which are reflected in Ipswich as the Waterfront and other parts of the town are transformed.

People from around the country and from Europe have been drawn to Britain as the economy has prospered and the number of jobs has increased.

Mr Cameron said many people from the new European countries had integrated well into Britain as had those from outside the EU who had come here to bring special skills.

“But we would impose strict limits on those who could come to Britain from non-EU countries. We need to welcome people from around the world but there must be limits,” he said.

The development of towns like Ipswich needed to be handled sympathetically as did protection of quiet rural areas like the rest of Suffolk.

Mr Cameron said: “We would ideally like to see brownfield sites (previously used land) before greenfield sites - but there has to be attention to the infrastructure surrounding such developments.

“We must have I - for infrastructure - before E - for expansion.”

He gave qualified backing for the Evening Star's Air Fair and No More Stansted campaigns - the Conservative Party has adopted a policy of opposition to the expansion of the Essex airport.

He said: “We have to accept that people want to fly and that the number of flights will probably continue to increase over the next few years.

“What we have to look at is finding ways of curbing that increase by bringing in a sensible green taxation system.

“At the moment there is a ridiculous situation where companies are taxed heavily for carrying full planes from London to Madrid but not taxed at all for flying empty planes from London to Manchester.”

Mr Cameron wanted money raised from the taxation of flights to be used to make alternative green transport more attractive.

He said: “We have recently seen the new rail link open between London and Paris cutting that journey to just over two hours.

“It makes no sense that a fairly high proportion of flights from London are to places like Paris, Brussels, Manchester and Edinburgh where there are very good rail links - we have to encourage people to use a more sustainable form of transport.”

N Is David Cameron making the Conservatives more relevant? Is he a better leader than his predecessors? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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