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Villagers hit out at lack of policing

PUBLISHED: 10:47 22 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:53 03 March 2010

PARISH councillors and villagers have claimed police are not doing enough to protect their community from petty crime and nuisance behaviour.

Some residents in Haughley, near Stowmarket, have threatened to withhold a proportion of their council tax and use the money to pay for security guards to patrol the village.

PARISH councillors and villagers have claimed police are not doing enough to protect their community from petty crime and nuisance behaviour.

Some residents in Haughley, near Stowmarket, have threatened to withhold a proportion of their council tax and use the money to pay for security guards to patrol the village.

Long-serving parish councillor and villager John Prigg claimed: "People call the police and no-one turns up.

"The council is not satisfied by the police presence in the village and with their response times. We have been dissatisfied for a very long time and have decided to write to the chief constable."

Haughley resident Andy Stulpa has also written to the local authorities, the police and his MP David Ruffley.

Mr Stulpa said: "I, along with a number of other parents and residents, feel extremely strongly that the authorities are not doing enough regarding the daily disturbances and petty crime which is carried out within the parish."

He added they were prepared to withhold a proportion of their council tax to fund security guards in the village for a few weeks.

But Inspector Ivan Smith, of Stowmarket police, said: "They do have problems, but they are no more than other villages of a similar size.

"They are being policed as well as we can with the resources we have got. We are doing the best we can and have a very good relationship with the parish council. But police are not responsible for parenting. Parents have got to be responsible."

He added: "We have a grading policy. This is rural mid Suffolk and officers may be committed with other tasks. There is an expectation if people ring the police, that two minutes later they will turn up.

"We are very good turning out to emergencies. But if a bunch of kids are making a noise, it will not be graded very highly. The key is to work with the community, the parish council and others."

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