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MP: Come down ‘like a ton of bricks’ on criminals exploiting lockdown

PUBLISHED: 11:50 26 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:50 26 March 2020

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt made the comments during prime minister's questions. Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt made the comments during prime minister's questions. Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS

Archant

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has urged police and the courts to come down on criminals “like a ton of bricks” who exploit the coronavirus lockdown.

The Conservative, voted in to parliament during the 2019 general election, made the call when speaking at prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday, March 25.

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The new rules on social distancing, announced by Boris Johnson on Monday, are being enforced by police - putting more pressure on already stretched resources.

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Mr Hunt said: “My concern is that certain criminal elements might look to exploit this national emergency to look promote their own insidious agendas.

“I asked the prime minister to confirm that if this does happen, he will come down like ton of bricks on individuals in question.

“I was glad that the prime minister confirmed that if necessary he would indeed come down like a ton of brinks on such criminals.

“I really hope it doesn’t come to this but it’s best to be vigilant during times like these.”

Suffolk police have also insisted they will not let the lockdown prevent them from catching criminals after a man who stole from Ipswich’s Boots store was jailed.

Robert Wilson, 35, of Mousehold Street in Norwich, was given 28 weeks for burglary and criminal damage offences relating to a broken window at a residential property in Northgate Street.

The offences took place on Sunday, March 22, a day before the lockdown started. He was sentenced earlier this week.

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Inspector Vicky McParland, from the Ipswich Central Team, said: “Town centre officers on patrol quickly detained this offender so to see Wilson receive this custodial sentence is very satisfying.

“We continue to work with shops and CCTV in order to reduce the number of offences occurring in our town centre and in the current COVID-19 lockdown, the police are still very much tackling criminality as usual.”

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