'We must work together to abolish this evil and sinister trade' says Suffolk's PCC
PUBLISHED: 00:02 04 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:49 05 September 2017
Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore has said those involved in the drug gangs are taking part in an 'evil and sinister trade'.
He described the emergence of gang culture as a ‘serious threat not just to Ipswich but the whole county’.
He said: “I think if we are not careful this could get out of hand.
“We have already seen the violence with the stabbings, and the odd firearms incident.
“The concern is if we don’t deal with it in Ipswich it will spread to the rest of the county and that report already says there are signs of it in Lowestoft, Leiston, Bury St Edmunds, we also have issues in Newmarket and Haverhill.
“I have nothing but total contempt for the ring leaders of these drugs gangs. It is an evil and sinister trade, we don’t need it in Suffolk, it needs to be booted out very forcibly and very quickly.
“I think this is very much a call to arms because the emergence of this gang culture and the illegal drug trading I think is a serious threat not just to Ipswich but the whole county.”
Mr Passmore said he was frustrated with the way some police forces and agencies outside Suffolk, including those in London, had not shared information with the Suffolk Constabulary.
He said: “We have had 2,500 arrests in the last two years across the whole of Suffolk for drug related offences. Operation Woven has had 153 arrests recently and 50 prosecutions.
“I am quite angry that other agencies from outside Suffolk have not been sharing intelligence with us. Forty six children were caught between October and December in Suffolk from London boroughs that were supposed to be in the care of social services. That is a disgrace. It is unacceptable and I shall writing to them.
“We need longer term solutions and that means other agencies need to put the cash and the people on the table. I have given a commitment for a three year programme, we have already put the money in, others need to do the same. I don’t want any excuses about shortage of budgets - are they bothered about this or not?
“You can’t abandon communities with economic and social depravation, it’s about time the public sector took this seriously. Longer term if we don’t deal with this it will damage the reputation of the whole county and we won’t get the economic growth or investment we need.”