Suffolk: Number of attacks in children’s homes revealed

HANDCUFFS, belts, remote controls and shoes are among the items used by youngsters to attack staff at children’s homes across the county.

Figures realised by Suffolk County Council through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that there have been 81 attacks in children’s homes across Suffolk since January 2005.

There have been 13 attacks on staff at children’s homes in Ipswich and Martlesham by children.

Meanwhile, statistics show that staff at a home in Bury St Edmunds were subjected to 17 attacks by youngsters.

Cases in Stowmarket accounted for 16 per cent of cases, with 13 attacks reported.

In seven of the attacks, the choice of weapon was described by the authority as “item to hand”, while in two of the incidents a mug or cup was used against staff.

Other weapons used include a cleaning product, spray paint, a bike, food, a metal tin, a battery and cushions.

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The figures also highlight the number of assaults children carry out on other children at the county-run homes, which are based in Ipswich, Martlesham, Rickinghall, Bury St Edmunds, Beccles, Stowmarket and Lowestoft.

In total, since January 2005 there have been 64 attacks, with 11 of the assaults involving weapons.

In one incident, a child used a pool cue to attack another youngster, and in a separate attack a can of deodorant was used.

Other offending weapons involved in assaults against another child included a cigarette, a lighter, a plate, cushions and food.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “These incidents occur rarely. The majority of the children and young people within our children’s homes come from difficult backgrounds and as such may display some challenging behaviours.

“However our staff are highly skilled and are trained to de-escalate situations and often incidents are resolved locally.”