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Time and venue for follow-up public meeting in wake of stabbing tragedy

PUBLISHED: 13:25 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:25 20 June 2018

Police presence in Packard Avenue. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Police presence in Packard Avenue. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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An Ipswich community will expect to hear how leaders have responded to calls for action in the wake of a teenager’s fatal stabbing.

Tributes are left in memory of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens in Packard Avenue, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTributes are left in memory of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens in Packard Avenue, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A public meeting promised to focus on what has been done, and will be done, in response to anger and concern from local people following the death of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens on June 2.

The meeting will be held at Inspire Suffolk, in Lindbergh Road, from 7pm on Thursday – 18 days after council chiefs were accused of taking away activities for young people in the Nacton Road area.

About 300 people turned out for the previous meeting at Nansen Road Baptist Church – two days after the 17-year-old was stabbed in neighbouring Packard Avenue.

Just two days later, a 16-year-old boy was stabbed a mile away, at the McDonald’s Ravenswood Avenue, on June 13.

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILYTavis Spencer-Aitkens. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Before the second teenager’s stabbing, a private meeting was held between Sandy Martin MP; senior police, county and borough council officers; council leaders, and the police and crime commissioner, to review progress on an action plan to address local concerns.

Thursday’s public meeting is expected to outline the next steps, including opportunities for residents to work more closely with the police and councils to improve the area, access funding and ensure voices are heard.

Measures include allocating youth workers to the area, ensuring the Murrayside Centre remains a community resource and leaving street lights on all night around Queen’s Way.

A new CCTV camera was installed for the St Augustine’s recreation ground on June 11, followed by a meeting for residents about a proposed community garden.

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens'devastated stepmother Helen Forbes and mother Sharon Box. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTavis Spencer-Aitkens'devastated stepmother Helen Forbes and mother Sharon Box. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Following the meeting to review progress, Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said: “We are all working together to make a difference to this community in the wake of an appalling tragedy.

“We have listened and we shall go on listening.

“Where we can act quickly, we have, such as leaving streetlights on, installing more CCTV, helping Ipswich Boxing Club find a new home and starting work on a community garden.

“But much more has to be, and will be done, and we shall be inviting local people to discuss progress and the next steps we can take together.”

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