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Village crime wave angers residents

PUBLISHED: 12:30 22 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:24 03 March 2010

VILLAGERS are concerned a crime wave has hit their community - and parish leaders blame it on the rise inn children's anti-social behaviour.

Parish councillors at Onehouse, near Stowmarket, are upset at an apparent lack of police presence in their village to stop garage and shed thefts, cars being damaged and youths vandalising public signs.

VILLAGERS are concerned a crime wave has hit their community – and parish leaders blame it on the rise inn children's anti-social behaviour.

Parish councillors at Onehouse, near Stowmarket, are upset at an apparent lack of police presence in their village to stop garage and shed thefts, cars being damaged and youths vandalising public signs.

But police inspector, Jon Brighton, does not believe there is a significant problem in the village and has moved to reassure residents.

He said the beat officer is currently off sick, but added that plainclothes officers have been patrolling the village and made a number of drug arrests during this time.

Insp Brighton said: "Since December 1 to today there have been 11 crimes in the village. We have made three arrests for drugs, there have been a couple of burglaries, criminal damage on a vehicle and five incidents at Stow Lodge.

"Compared to the rest of mid Suffolk there is not a crime wave there, or a crime problem. We are keeping our eye on the ball.''

He added that officers patrol the village, traffic police call in and the force's helicopter flies past frequently.

Insp Brighton also said he was unable to attend a parish council meeting he was invited to because of operational commitments, but had invited councillors to meet him.

Arlene Cruickshanks, Onehouse parish council chairman, believes a lot of problems are caused by youngsters with many incidents going unrecorded.

"It's petty things, like walking across people's cars, gathering in people's doorways. The police are unable to patrol, they just do not have the strength and yet again we are without a community officer as ours has been off sick for what seems like months," she said.

"They do their best, but their best really is not good enough. We need to see more money invested in more policemen.''

Ray Taylor, parish councillor, said he did not believe the village was getting a good service from the Suffolk force.

"We realise that compared to other places it's very minor, but we are a very rural community and crime is on the rise.

"Youngsters come out from Stowmarket rollicking around, pulling things out of gardens, damaging notice boards and no-one is here to stop them.''

Mr Taylor said the parish council has written to the local police inspector after they believed 11 crimes were reported last December, the village's worst ever recorded crime spate, and claimed there had been another ten the following month.

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