Unanimous backing to support action against gangs on Ipswich streets

Jubilee Park in Ipswich is one of the areas affected by gang problems. Picture: ARCHANT

Jubilee Park in Ipswich is one of the areas affected by gang problems. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

The struggle against gangs and knife crime on the streets of Ipswich has got the unanimous backing of the borough at its full meeting at the town’s Corn Exchange.

A motion putting taking action against the gangs near the top of the priority list for the borough was proposed by opposition leader Ian Fisher and seconded by council leader David Ellesmere – and gained all-party support.

Mr Fisher said: “The public perception of the rise in gang-related crime is that it has steadily increased over the past few years with a sharp recent increase which has had the effect of genuinely frightening some residents of our town, especially in the two main highlighted areas of Jubilee Park and Nacton Road.

“The problems we see in these areas are not new, they are not 21st century, they have been going on for decades but in the past the criminal activity was often behind closed doors and away from the public.

“With the advent of 21st century communications we have the adverse beauty of social media to broadcast to the watching world the crime that is taking place on our streets.”

Mr Fisher said it was vital that the council concentrated on working with other agencies to take action against the gangs that have come into the town.

Mr Ellesmere said the town had already shown, in response to the murders in the town more than a decade ago, that it could bring people together to make the town safer.

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It has worked to stop street prostitution in Ipswich – but the battle against gangs could be more difficult because of funding difficulties.

He said: “If I am honest I do have concerns. Not because of the approach we are taking nor the willingness of the agencies to tackle the problem but because all of us – Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Police, health services – all of us have much fewer resources than we did five years ago.”

But he said the council would continue to prioritise support for the areas that were affected most seriously by gang problems.

And he was backed up by portfolio holder for public safety Alasdair Ross who said that the borough had a crucial role in making the town safe. The borough’s CCTV network was a vital tool for the police in tracking the gangs and bringing members to justice.