Tackling yobs should be police priority

RESIDENTS in Ipswich today believe anti-social behaviour should be the top priority for police in the town.Research carried out by the force reveals that people rank anti-social behaviour above violent crime, burglary and police presence in what they believe should head the force's agenda.

RESIDENTS in Ipswich today believe anti-social behaviour should be the top priority for police in the town.

Research carried out by the force reveals that people rank anti-social behaviour above violent crime, burglary and police presence in what they believe should head the force's agenda.

The information was revealed by area commander Chief Superintendent John Fletcher at an anti-social behaviour action day in Ipswich.

He said: “A lot of police staff think burglary, violent crime and vehicle crime have got to be our priority. “No one wants their house broken into or there car stolen but what this shows is that the thing that impacts most on people's lives on a day-to-day basis is anti-social behaviour.

“I'm not saying we can ignore the other issues but this touches on having a more responsive approach. “In terms of public priorities anti-social behaviour is way up there.”

The information was collated through a number of surveys in the town and showed people felt the force's top priorities should be anti-social behaviour, followed by violent crime, burglary and a visible presence on the streets.

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One of the tactics being used to quell yobbish behaviour is the introduction of neighbourhood policing which is hoped to provide police with greater intelligence and the public with greater reassurance.

Dedicated teams have been launched in south east Ipswich, south west Ipswich and, this week central Ipswich, with the aim of working in partnership to improve community safety.

The first scheme, launched in south east Ipswich in 2004, helped to quell some problems in the area but according to Andy Solomon, Ipswich's anti-social behaviour network manager, there was an increase in anti-social behaviour in the north west of the town the following year.

He said: “In 2004 the vast majority of incidents related to south east Ipswich but in 2005 there was a lot in north west Ipswich.

“The reassurance team was in place, all the partners were talking to each other and lots of investment was put into the south east for young people like sports projects. In north west Ipswich there was not so much, in fact there was very little.

“In the north west there are very few facilities for young people. One of them was closed down in Easter time last year (Making Tracks in Whitehouse) and in the summer we had lots of complaints about youngsters drinking in the parks, smashing bottles and being a general nuisance.

“That is something to learn - don't put all of your eggs in one basket.”

N Have you been a victim of anti-social behaviour? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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