April 18 2014 Latest news:
by Matt Stott
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
THE East of England is the second-most peaceful part of the country, a think-tank claims today.
A study by the Institute for Economics and Peace ranked Mid Suffolk among the top 25 most peaceful areas in England and Wales – but Ipswich was classed as one of the most violent places. The figures – based on murders, violence and crime weapon and public disorder crimes per 100,000 people over a 10-year period, as well as police numbers – were taken from recorded police crime tables sourced from the Home Office, the think-tank said.
Ipswich scored 3.588 out of five in the think-tank’s chart, with five being the most violent, making it the worst area in the East of England and the 23rd most violent local authority out of 343 in England and Wales in 2012.
Only Manchester, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and a host of inner London boroughs were deemed more violent than Ipswich in the report, dubbed the UK Peace Index. The findings come just a day after Suffolk Police published a report showing crime figures had fallen for the seventh consecutive year in the county.
Mid Suffolk was ranked 25th most peaceful, with a low score of 1.424. Broadland, a borough which borders Norwich, was found to be the least violent in the country, with a score of 1.164. South-east London borough Lewisham was ranked the most violent, scoring 4.529.
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Tim Passmore questioned the validity of the report. “Surveys such as these are not always helpful as they focus on a very select group of statistics and can give a distorted view,” he said. “I don’t think anyone would really consider Ipswich to be one of the least peaceful places in the country.
“But as PCC I am committed to reducing crime and making Suffolk a safer place to live, work travel and invest. My focus is on the whole of Suffolk and Ipswich gets a higher level of the county’s policing resources particularly in the evenings at the weekend and this is something we are seeking to address.”
Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said: “Ipswich is not worse than Liverpool. That’s rubbish. The report is one of those things where you can prove anything with statistics.”
Kate Biles, Victim Support Divisional Manager for Suffolk, said: “Even one case of crime is too many but if you are unfortunate to become a victim you can get help by calling Victim Supportline on 0845 30 30 900 or visiting our website at www.victimsupport.org.uk.”