Street crime under the spotlight

ROBBERS and thieves pounced seven times on the streets of Ipswich over the past week, stealing cash, phones, wallets and bags. In the sixth part of The Evening Star's weekly campaign to highlight crime hotspots in Suffolk's town, we focus for the second time on street crime.

By Lisa Baxter

MUGGERS and pickpockets struck during the day and night on Ipswich's streets, stealing cash and mobile phones, sometimes with the threat of violence. All but one of the crimes happened in the centre of Ipswich town.

With precise information of every incident of street crime – robbery and theft from the person – between Thursday, March 14, and Wednesday, March 20, provided by police, we reveal the details of each incident and appeal for information to help catch the culprits.

Three people were robbed and another four targeted by thieves in the same week that Home Secretary David Blunkett held his first weekly summit with the Prime Minister and police to crack down on street crime.

In almost half of the cases in Ipswich this week, the thieves' target was a mobile phone – twice, a mobile phone was pinched from a pedestrian's pocket and on another occasion, a teenager was robbed of his phone as he made a call. The mugging victim was threatened with a bottle when he confronted the robbers.

While mobile phones were a popular target for street crooks, cash was another. A man had his wallet pinched in Portman Road in the middle of the afternoon and a girl, aged just 13, was forced to hand over money at knifepoint in St Stephen's Lane.

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Ipswich crime prevention office Tracey Hardey offered tips on how to prevent yourself falling victim to muggers and street thieves.

She advised that you take out with you only what you need and leave everything else secure in your home. Don't leave your keys and address together in your bag and make sure you don't leave your mobile phone visible or clipped to your back pocket for other to see, she said.

nAnyone with information about any of the crimes listed here, or any others, should contact police or Crimestoppers on the numbers listed.

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