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Ipswich MP Tom Hunt comes under fire from Tory PCC Tim Passmore

PUBLISHED: 05:30 14 January 2020

Tim Passmore, Suffolk's police and crime commissioner, was concerned about Tom Hunt's comments on law and order in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Tim Passmore, Suffolk's police and crime commissioner, was concerned about Tom Hunt's comments on law and order in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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New Ipswich Tory MP Tom Hunt has received a new rebuke after his controversial comments about law and order in the town – from Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, a fellow Conservative.

Tom Hunt has been rebuked by Conservative PCC Tim Passmore.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTom Hunt has been rebuked by Conservative PCC Tim Passmore. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

In his newspaper column last week Mr Hunt said that many people he had spoken to in the town were worried about crime in the town.

And he added: "It is impossible to start thinking about remedies to these issues without also being ready to confront the possibility that a disproportionate number of crimes are committed by individuals from certain communities. This is something we should be open and honest about. Brushing it under the carpet will not get us closer to solving the issue."

However Mr Passmore said: "I find Tom Hunt's comments very unhelpful. There's a significant amount of work being done in our county town to support community cohesion and I'm not sure Mr Hunt has been close enough to this work to appreciate the value of this on-going work.

"From a policing perspective there has been additional investment in the town in this financial year - with extra officers in the Sentinel team, to disrupt serious and organised criminal activity, and eight extra police officers focused on local policing which I know is having a very positive impact on cutting crime.

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"In my commissioning role I also support many communities in Ipswich to tackle crime and disorder reduction in the town."

Mr Passmore is just the latest person to add his voice to concerns about Mr Hunt's comments.

It comes after a statement from the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality said: "The recent article on the topic of crime by the newly-elected MP for Ipswich is at best disappointing and at worst an ill-judged piece of dogwhistling."

Mr Hunt rejected claims that he did not know enough about the subject before writing his column.

He said: "I have knocked on tens of thousands of doors in Ipswich and spoken to thousands of people - and this is a major concern that many people. A lot more work needs to be done to keep our town safe."

A Suffolk police spokesman said it looked at all crime to work out where best to put its resources: "We robustly profile all crime based on a number of factors including people, objects, locations and method to inform our priorities and our operational activity."


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