Vandals hunted after shop windows smashed

CONCERNS were today raised over an increase in yobbish behaviour on an Ipswich estate - just days after vandals smashed windows on a busy shopping parade.

CONCERNS were today raised over an increase in yobbish behaviour on an Ipswich estate - just days after vandals smashed windows on a busy shopping parade.

Traders and residents revealed their fears over unruly conduct on Whitehouse estate's Ulster Avenue, claiming the problem has spiralled in recent weeks.

In the wake of Sunday's vandalism, police officers have been conducting door-to-door enquiries and have also scoured CCTV footage for clues.

And Whitehouse borough councillor Albert Grant today vowed to investigate the problem.

He said: “I'm appalled that people can't go about their business without having these sorts of things happening.”

Residents spoke out after the windows of eight shops were shattered in the early hours of Sunday morning. Detectives believe the damage could have been caused by a BB gun.

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Nayna Patel, manager of Ulster News, said: “We have had three windows broken in eight or nine weeks. Although we are insured, there is a �250 excess and our premium will go up.

“Things have certainly got worse recently. We have suffered from racial behaviour while people often steal from the shop.”

Mrs Patel has run Ulster News for four years but she admitted: “If I could I would move tomorrow - and I wouldn't look back.”

Vanessa Knights, who runs the Babes to Tots second-hand clothing store with partner Lisa Colley, said: “I have always lived in this area but since we opened the shop three months ago we have noticed that things are getting worse.

“I lived in a flat in Ulster Avenue for nine years until I moved four years ago and there was never any trouble.”

A mother who lives in nearby Waterford Road - but who was too afraid to give her name - said even walking to the shops was unnerving because of gangs of youngsters hanging around.

She said: “I told my little boy to run away if there was any trouble. I shouldn't have to say that to him.

“I won't let my son go to the shop by himself because it's too dangerous.”

In the wake of Sunday's vandalism, police officers have been conducting door-to-door enquiries and have also scoured CCTV footage for clues.

Whitehouse borough councillor Albert Grant today vowed to investigate the problem.

He said: “I'm appalled that people can't go about their business without having these sorts of things happening.”

The windows were smashed at some point after 12.30am on Sunday. Anyone with information on the crime should call Pc Leighton Smith at the North West Safer Neighbourhood Team on 01473 613500.

Have you been the victim of anti-social behaviour? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk