Women urged to think safety

WITH all of Ipswich gripped by fear that a serial killer is on the loose, women are once again being urged to take no chances and ensure they are well protected.

WITH all of Ipswich gripped by fear that a serial killer is on the loose, women are once again being urged to take no chances and ensure they are well protected.

With the festive season upon us and Christmas office parties in full swing, employers and travel companies are offering safety advice to late night revellers.

Police have already said that women should “look after each other” and never leave friends alone, while making sure someone knows what time they expect to be back.

If they must travel alone, they have been advised to stick to well-lit main streets, avoid alleyways and dark side roads.

Ipswich's travel companies said they were working hard to ensure passengers felt safe when travelling in the dark.

Roger Haywood, communications advisor to Great Eastern buses, said: “All of our drivers receive training which focuses on making the safety of passengers a priority at all times.

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“For example, if a driver is concerned, he might suggest that a lady passenger get off at a lighted stop and he does have the authority to phone the police if they think there is a risk.

“Other than that there is little we can actually do, however we are noticing that more women are travelling in pairs or are being met from the bus stop.”

A spokesman for Ipswich Buses said shuttle services were being laid on for staff and urged passengers to follow the police advice.

A spokesman for train operator 'one' said: “We are liaising with our external partners including the British Transport Police, Suffolk police and trusts such as the Suzy Lamplugh trust, and follow any advice given from those partners to increase the vigilance of both our staff and passengers.”

Shaun De Silva, chairman of Ipswich Pubwatch and landlord of the Freemasons Tavern in Victoria Street and the Brewers Arms in Orford Street, said he thought all pubs would be taking measures to ensure the late night safety of female customers and staff.

“In my case that goes as far as supplying and paying for a taxi or taking my employees home personally or making sure that they are collected by a family member or spouse,” he said.

“I would also reiterate the police advice - not to go out on your own, to stay together, and make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you are expecting to get back.”

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