Night-time crime of 'high concern' in Ipswich suburb, survey reveals
Poor lighting, anti-social behaviour and alleged drug-taking mean only four in 10 people feel safe at night in an Ipswich suburb, a survey has revealed.
The new Whitehouse Wanderers group has been touring the area to ask people what they think of living there amid fears the suburb which is home to 10,000 people "hasn't got what all the other estates in Ipswich have got".
The grassroots group's survey - carried out online and in two drop-in sessions - found that while six out of 10 respondents felt safe during the day, only four out of 10 felt safe once darkness falls.
The same survey also revealed there were tensions between different parts of the Whitehouse community. Organisers believe the process of holding a survey and encouraging people to engage with each other will help resolve this.
Acting Sergeant Luke Turner, who attended a meeting about the survey results with the Whitehouse Wanderers, said police were fully involved about discussions surrounding the issues and would continue to work with the group.
A report published by the Whitehouse Wanderers after the survey said: "Night-time safety is of high concern.
"Many bring up the issue of poor lighting in the area."
The report, presented at a recent feedback session by the Whitehouse Wanderers to people in the community, said that some people even "change their habits from day and night" in an effort to stay safe.
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"Routes home are altered to make sure individuals pass by houses with trigger lights to make up for the absence of adequate street lighting," it said.
On crime, the report said: "Results highlight heightened concern around security and public safety.
"The numbers of police, their presence and effectiveness to tackle numerous safety issues is mentioned by numerous respondents.
"There is concern about the amount of anti-social behaviour. A number perceive high issues of anti-social behaviour from young people is linked to the lack of activities and spaces for them.
"Perceptions of high drug dealing and drug use is mentioned by a number of respondents."
However while 150 people completed the survey, organisers warned the data "should not be taken as a full representation of the population on the estate".
Acting Sgt Turner said: "We deploy our resources based upon the risk presented to our communities and the harm caused, but we are only as good and the information we have from the public.
"I would urge anyone that wishes to report any non-urgent and non-life threatening issues including any anti-social behaviour online through our website."