Team to get to grips with Ipswich yobs

WHILE frustrated residents call for the long arm of the law to come down hard on the trouble makers in Queen's Way, a partnership of key agencies is working to find a longer-term solution to the problems.

WHILE frustrated residents call for the long arm of the law to come down hard on the trouble makers in Queen's Way, a partnership of key agencies is working to find a longer-term solution to the problems.

Police are working with the Anti-Social Behaviour Network and officers from social services and education within Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council in a bid to put an end to three weeks of trouble.

During that time crime has escalated in the shopping parade, resulting in shops being vandalised, cars being damaged and children showing contempt for police and residents.

While the police have threatened a tough line against the problem youngsters through arrests and the use of curfews and dispersal orders, other groups are planning ways to direct children away from crime and into more constructive past-times.


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Andy Solomon, manager of the Anti-Social Behaviour Network which is funded by Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council, is working with a number of agencies, including police, to devise ways of channeling young people away from anti-social behaviour and towards activities like sport, IT and music.

He said: "The vast majority of youngsters in the area are decent kids. The problem is there are one or two younger kids who will not, or do not want to, comply with everyone else's view of normal living.

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"If we've got a youngster up there who is causing problems and they've got a sports or music interest, maybe we could divert them to a sporting or more musical activity.

"If that type of thing doesn't work at least we can say we have tried and then we can take a more robust approach.

"An enforcement solution is just one route."

Despite calls from residents for an immediate clampdown on the behaviour of the children much of the work going on is aiming to create a longer-term solution through better parenting and creating a more positive outlook for those causing the problems.

Mr Solomon said: "You don't win the marathon by doing the first hundred metres in ten seconds.

"You try to work with the youngsters. You try to work with the family.

"If we have a situation where the parents are causing the problems, and quite often it is, I would look to engage the parents in some parenting scheme.

"If you can address the parents' perception of things and the parents' behaviour that can have the knock-on effect of improving the youngster's behaviour."

What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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