Toy gun warning after estate clean up

POLICE today warned youngsters who carry toy guns may have them confiscated if officers believe they could cause a major alarm.The message comes after a multi-agency sweep of Ipswich's Whitton estate found a teenage schoolboy with the item in his pocket.

POLICE today warned youngsters who carry toy guns may have them confiscated if officers believe they could cause a major alarm.

The message comes after a multi-agency sweep of Ipswich's Whitton estate found a teenage schoolboy with the item in his pocket.

It follows a series of crimes committed in Suffolk that have seen businesses held up with gun-toting raiders.

Inspector Martin Barnes-Smith, of Suffolk police, said: "What concerned me was that any members of the public who may have seen it may have phoned police and said they have seen someone with a gun.

"We would've had to have responded in a certain way and we were anxious to avoid such a situation."

The youngster, who was about 15-years-old, was stopped as part of a crackdown on truancy.

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It was carried out as part of an impact day that saw trading standards, Suffolk police, Ipswich borough and Suffolk county councils join forces.

This saw various issues dealt with, including illegal vehicles, dumped rubbish and unsafe homes, businesses and vehicles.

Chief superintendent Geoff Munns, who is the commander of the area that includes Ipswich, said the day had been a great success.

"We often talk about joined up working and this initiative is a successful example of making that a reality," he said.

"Impact days are all about working to improve quality of life issues and the well-being of neighbourhoods."

As revealed in later editions of yesterday's Star, the day saw three teams tour the Whitton area looking for issues needing to be dealt with.

The end result was six trailers and one lorry full of rubbish were removed, while more than 100 vulnerable vehicles and premises were also dealt with.

The borough council's environmental health department addressed 15 accumulations of rubbish and found five areas where dog fouling was a problem.

Three cars were found to be uninsured, while four others had no tax.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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