Women call for sex offenders to be moved

CONCERNED mothers from the north west of Ipswich have today told of their fears that sex offenders could be living in their neighbourhood.

CONCERNED mothers from the north west of Ipswich have today told of their fears that sex offenders could be living in their neighbourhood.

The women, who all live in the Norwich Road and Bramford Road areas of the town, have collected more than 400 signatures to petition against convicted criminals living nearby.

The petition was prompted by the women learning that the hostel in Norwich Road, which has been running for the last 20 years, is allowed to house sex attackers.

Suffolk Probation Service has confirmed that the hostel, which lies within a mile of three primary schools, is one of two in Ipswich which are approved premises to house sex offenders.

Claire, a mother-of-two who is too scared to reveal her identity, started the petition and said: “You wouldn't hold a meeting for alcoholics near to a pub would you? So why house sex attackers near to schools?

“At the moment they are ten minutes down the road from where my children go to pre-school. I want the hostel to be moved so they are twenty or even thirty minutes away.

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“They are also allowed out between the hours of 7am and 11pm but we want to change their curfew to prevent them being allowed out when children are walking to and from schools.”

Abby, a 24-year-old mother of two, said: “Most people in this area didn't know about the hostel until it was in the paper.

“Now they are scared and angry and the petition is one way of demanding action.”

Another mum, Dawn, 28, added: “We are not trying to cause trouble. We just want to make sure our children are safe.”

The women plan to hand the petition to MP Michael Lord in the next fortnight.

Martin Garside, assistant chief officer for the Suffolk Probation Service, said he would happily meet with the women.

He said: “We endeavour to keep residents informed with what is happening at the hostel.

“When it was closed for a renovation we even invited nearby residents to have a look inside.

“We can't say there aren't any events relating to the people who live in the hostel but there are very few of them. However we would be happy to meet these women and discuss things with them face to face.”

Weblink: www.notnearschools.co.uk

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