Who's stoning our buses?

STONE-throwing hooligans have struck again on an Ipswich estate after a bus was targeted in the 11th recent attack of its kind, it emerged today.

Tom Potter

STONE-throwing hooligans have struck again on an Ipswich estate after a bus was targeted in the 11th recent attack of its kind, it emerged today.

Concern is growing over the rapid surge in vandalism, with police warning that someone could be seriously hurt or even killed following the latest incident in Chantry.

Community support officers have resorted to patrolling onboard buses following a spate of missile attacks which left one passenger injured and others showered with glass.

Earlier this month a 45-year-old man received a small cut behind one of his ears while travelling on a bus in Greenfinch Avenue.

Objects have also been launched at buses in Bridgwater Road and most recently in Hawthorn Drive.

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John Harold, 66, of Risby Close, was onboard the bus travelling along Hawthorn Drive on Tuesday when yobs hurled a missile at the window.

“I suddenly heard a big bang,” he said.

“I had heard of this happening at night but I never thought it would happen during the day and that I would be there at the time. It certainly put the breeze up me.

“No one was hurt on the bus but I think everyone was a bit shaken by it. Had someone been sitting next to the window and it had smashed they would have been injured.

“I won't let it put me off taking the bus I can't speak for everyone.”

Ipswich Buses managing director Malcolm Robson insisted that he would not change vehicles allocated to Chantry routes despite the attacks.

He said: “I know there have been rumours that we were putting on older buses, but that is not the case. That would be giving in to these mindless vandals.

“We are, however, working very closely with the police to identify and help them catch the vandals responsible for these attacks.”

Chantry is the only part of town where buses have come under attack, and Mr Robson said he was appalled and angered by the problems in that part of town.

A spokesman for Suffolk police confirmed the force had increased patrols as a result of the outbreak of vandalism.

Meanwhile, Keith Rawlingson, county councillor for Chantry, told of his anger at the spate of vandalism.

“It is most regrettable to have people in the area behaving this way,” he said.

“It concerns me but over the course of time names start to emerge and the police start to pick up on information regarding the source of the problem.”

Anyone with any information about these incidents should contact Sergeant Roger Salmon at South East Ipswich Safer Neighbourhood Team on 01473 613500 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

- Have you witnessed the outbreak of vandalism? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

BUSES have not been the only target of vandalism in the area - homeowners have also come under attack from stone-throwers in Chantry.

The damage has been caused mainly on the Birds estate area.

On April 11, a window was damaged at a house in Plover Road.

Two days later, the first floor front window of a house was damaged after three teenagers were seen throwing stones in Kestrel Road.