Undercover police officers and more wardens to patrol Christchurch Park after fears raised over drug-taking

Suffolk police have targeted drink and drug drivers in a month long campaign (stock image). Picture:

Suffolk police have targeted drink and drug drivers in a month long campaign (stock image). Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

We will not allow a small minority of law breakers to spoil Christchurch Park – that’s the message from Ipswich council chiefs as concerns grow about a spike in drug-taking.

Christchurch Park, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Christchurch Park, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Undercover police officers will continue to control the park under a joint management scheme being undertaken by the council and police, a public meeting was told.

Fears were sparked about the number of young people openly taking drugs in the park by a resident who attended the meeting, chaired by Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore.

She said people often left syringes and broken glass behind – and stressed she was concerned this was happening more freely.

Police chiefs who were present, including Superintendent Kerry Cutler and Inspector Stuart Weaver, were asked if they could patrol during the week.

A single patrol car at the weekends is not enough, the resident added.

Supt Cutler has said she is very aware of concerns about drug-taking in parks – but said Christchurch Park is not the only one being affected.

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“I have to consider the wider picture and allocate resources appropriately,” she added.

However, plain clothes officers are visiting the parks and Supt Cutler said their presence may not be obvious.

Park wardens are working with teams in Ipswich - and the council are keen to increase numbers in the coming months.

A spokesman said: “We are aware of the reports and are working closely with the Police to combat this problem.

“Christchurch Park is – and will remain – a favourite attraction for families and other visitors and we will not allow a small minority of law breakers spoil it.”

Anyone who finds discarded needles in parks should report the sighting to the borough council immediately.

Earlier this week Suffolk Constabulary launched Operation Velocity – a new campaign tackling county-wide drug crime.

The scheme brings the three area operations of Volcanic (South), London (West) and Boulevard (East) under one umbrella.

It will run alongside Operation Woven, an Ipswich-focused initiative aimed at disrupting drug-related crime and anti-social behaviour connected to groups known to each other.

Needle sightings should be reported to the Cleaner Ipswich Hotline on 01473 433000.

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