Woman's bag snatched from library

A WOMAN has been left distraught after her handbag was snatched at Ipswich Library.The theft is the most recent in a spate of similar crimes reported to police.

A WOMAN has been left distraught after her handbag was snatched at Ipswich Library.

The theft is the most recent in a spate of similar crimes reported to police.

June Gower, 79 from Chantry had £105 in her handbag when it was taken from her side.

Mrs Gower said: “I'd just been to the bank to withdraw some money. I would normally only have about £20 in there. I turned to pick up a book and when I looked back, my handbag had gone. I couldn't believe it had gone.

“I'm lucky I don't depend on my pension but it has left a dent in my nest egg. It's not about the money so much as the worry that my house will be ransacked.”

Mrs Gower reported the theft to staff who immediately informed the police but told her that she wasn't the first victim of crime at the library.

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She said: “They told me it wasn't the first time it had happened there and that there had been a spate of thefts. I asked them if they had checked the security cameras but they said they weren't working properly.”

Roger McMaster, Head of Service Development for Libraries Archives and Information at Suffolk County Council said: “Our libraries in Suffolk are normally very safe and relaxed places. Overall we don't suffer very much from anti social behaviour, but particularly in the larger towns there are occasional incidents, and I very much regret it when people have belongings stolen in a library.

“There is some CCTV coverage at Ipswich County Library but the system is now reaching the end of its operational life and we will be looking at options for its improvement.

“As with any incident of this sort we have involved the police in Ipswich, who have mounted plain clothes patrols in the library, and who generally are very quick to respond to any concerns expressed by staff themselves or on behalf of library users.”

Mr McMaster said notices warning people to take care of their property had been put up.

He added: “We ask staff to remind people in the library that it is a public place where they should be just as careful to look after their personal belongings as you would be anywhere else.”