Volunteer expresses concern after borough reveals changes to Ipswich Crucial Crew

Pupils from Colneis Junior School take part in the Crucial Crew event in Stratford St Andrew.

Pupils from Colneis Junior School take part in the Crucial Crew event in Stratford St Andrew. - Credit: Archant

A borough councillor has assured that school children will not miss out after changes to an Ipswich safety scheme were announced.

A volunteer, who helped set up the initiative in 1994, has expressed his concern after it was revealed that Ipswich Crucial Crew will be reduced from four weeks a year to two and will only be offered to schools that lie within the town boundary.

Dave Long said: “I’m concerned that children will be denied going to Crucial Crew, and I think that’s something that ought to be fought for.”

Crucial Crew is run by Ipswich Borough Council and aims to teach 10 and 11-year-olds valuable safety messages by putting them in different interactive scenarios.

Borough councillor Neil Macdonald, public protection portfolio holder said: “Every pupil that wants a place on Crucial Crew will be accommodated.”

He said it had been agreed between council members and Crucial Crew partners that pupils from Ipswich would attend a session in Ipswich, and pupils from outside the town will attend sessions organised by Mid-Suffolk and Suffolk Coastal councils.

However, Mr Long said he was worried that pupils who attend schools on the periphery of Ipswich, which had been going to the town’s sessions for years, would now have to spend time and money travelling miles to other locations, and that the size of the present venue at Hallowtree would not be able accommodate all the children in two weeks.

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“It’s unrealistic to think they are going to do it,” he said. “I hope I’m wrong in all of this and I hope it does continue to flourish but I’m voicing my concerns.”