Tom Hunt calls for more police funding after Kesgrave shooting
PUBLISHED: 09:53 08 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:51 08 September 2020
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has called for increased police funding in the wake of the Kesgrave shooting and a separate incident where a teenager was threatened with a knife in Colchester Road.
Mr Hunt used a question in the House of Commons to call on policing minister Kit Malthouse to give Suffolk more police resources and make sure that those who carry knives fear the consequences of their actions.
His intervention came after a 13-year-old boy was threatened with a knife in Colchester Road and the shooting of a 15-year-old boy in Kesgrave. Police cordoned off an Westwood Avenue in Ipswich in connection with the shooting.
Mr Hunt had previously issued a statement saying his thoughts and prayers go out to the young person shot in Kesgrave and that he fully understood why people in Ipswich have concerns about what has happened.
He said he was now receiving regular updates on both the Kesgrave shooting and the incident in Ipswich on Sunday and was monitoring both cases very closely.
Mr Malthouse highlighted the extra police officers that are being deployed in Suffolk and how a crucial aspect of deterring these crimes is increasing the likelihood that those that carry weapons are caught.
Following Mr Malthouse’s comment, Mr Hunt said: “It was important to raise the deeply shocking incidents on Colchester Road on Sunday and in Kesgrave yesterday with the policing minister in Parliament. These attacks targeted at teenagers are despicable and I fully understand why people in Ipswich have concerns.
“We must have particularly strong deterrent in place against anyone thinking of carrying a weapon, and a zero-tolerance approach to those found breaking the law in this way.
“Some of the 54 extra police officers for Suffolk are already on our streets and this is an important step to prevent crimes like this and bring those responsible to justice.
“But we can’t stop there. The national police funding formula as it stands systematically disadvantages Suffolk and is in need of root and branch reform to reflect the serious types of crime Ipswich faces.
“I’ve already raised the funding formula in Parliament and I’ll be pushing on it again over the coming weeks. This mustn’t be an issue repeatedly kicked into the long grass.”
Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore told BBC Radio Suffolk today: “I don’t know if having extra police officers would have mad any difference in this case (Kesgrave) but it is the case that I am grateful to Tom Hunt for raising this because Suffolk is under pressure and I’ve said that for many years regarding funding.
“I believe we have something like the fourth lowest number of police officers per thousand of population in the country.”
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