Town’s late-night violent crime hotspots revealed

IPSWICH: Shocking figures revealed today show there were more than 3,400 violent crimes in Ipswich in a year.

The hotspots for violent crime in the town can be exclusively revealed today, following data published by Suffolk Police.

The statistics, released following a Freedom of Information request, show the areas with the highest levels of violent crime are also the sites of some of the town’s most popular pubs and clubs.

Cardinal Park had the highest number of incidents, with 102 violent crimes reported in 2009/10, which works out at nearly two per week.

There were 90 incidents in Old Cattle Market, 84 in Northgate Street and 72 in Tacket Street, as well as 76 violent crimes on Norwich Road.

These range from the most serious offences, such as grievous bodily harm, to threatening behaviour and harassment.

There was a total of 3,445 violent crimes in the Ipswich area, although Suffolk Police said that almost 80 per cent of these involved people who already knew each other rather than attacks by strangers.

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A police spokesman said: “These are almost all town centre spots so those violent crimes will usually happen on a Friday or Saturday night.

“We have introduced a night time economy policing team specifically devoted to Friday and Saturday nights in and around the town centres of Ipswich, Lowestoft and Newmarket to tackle alcohol-related violence.

“We are working closer with licensees and the security staff at bars and clubs and we are ensuring that they are all signed up to our policy of not allowing severely intoxicated members of the public into their establishments where the likelihood of trouble brewing is obviously increased.”

The level of crime on Norwich Road is a slight exception, as police said it was largely down to disputes between the people who live there rather than alcohol-fuelled crime as in the town centre.

Ipswich mayor Jane Chambers, whose ward covers the town centre, said: “This is not something we take lightly.

“But I think we do have to bear in mind a lot of those people don’t actually live in Ipswich. Many of them come from Martlesham or Stowmarket for a night out, so it’s not just an Ipswich problem, it’s more of a county-wide problem.

“We need to educate people to go and have a nice time and enjoy themselves but do it in moderation.”

More than 30 per cent of crimes classified as violent crime do not involve actual injury to the victim.

n Do you think violent crime is on the up in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail evening