Top cop's pledge over crime rise

POLICE chiefs today admitted they are closely monitoring crime levels in Ipswich after figures revealed offending had increased to its highest level for nearly a year-and-a-half.

POLICE chiefs today admitted they are closely monitoring crime levels in Ipswich after figures revealed offending had increased to its highest level for nearly a year-and-a-half.

The town has been particularly blighted by high levels of serious drugs offences, criminal damage, violent attacks and bicycle thefts.

Recently published statistics show that in October, Ipswich recorded its highest volume of crime since May 2007.

The worrying rise is in stark contrast to the rest of Suffolk, where crime has continued to fall in tandem with an increase in detection rates.


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Suffolk police chief constable Simon Ash vowed to address the issue.

He said: “Crime in the county is continuing to go down and detection rates are higher than this time last year, currently at about 33.9 per cent.

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“But always concealed within these types of figures will be pockets of ups and downs.

“In Ipswich, the major issue has been around criminal damage.

“We are working through the county's Safer Neighbourhood Teams to see what opportunities there are to address the problem.”

Earlier this year, a leaked letter written by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith revealed that the government feared the global economic downturn could prove to be a catalyst for a rise in crime.

The letter stated: “We can expect additional pressures on acquisitive crime, police finances, citizen attitudes to migration, and pressure on our fee income.”

However, Mr Ash said it was too early to say whether the recession was having any effect on levels of offending.

“What the cause of the increase is, I would not be able to draw any firm conclusions,” he said.

“There is no evidence at this stage that the economic situation is having an impact on crime levels but we have to be alert to the fact we are in a different climate than we were six or even three months ago.”

Are crime levels and the economy linked? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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