Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 0°C

Search

Summit aims to crack down on crime across Ipswich town centre

PUBLISHED: 17:30 13 September 2017

The summit is looking at crime and anti-social behaviour including problems caused by rough sleepers. Stock Picture: Michael Walter/PA Wire

The summit is looking at crime and anti-social behaviour including problems caused by rough sleepers. Stock Picture: Michael Walter/PA Wire

Archant

Businesses and civic leaders in Ipswich are to come together in a bid to tackle crime problems across the town centre.

Terry Baxter Terry Baxter

An “Action for Ipswich” summit is being organised by Ipswich Central with the support of Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore in an attempt to make shoppers and other visitors to the town centre feel more secure.

The summit, which is likely to be held at the Wherstead Park Conference Centre follows on from last month’s report into growing gang violence in the town.

But much of the focus is likely to be also on more general anti-social behaviour like begging, street drinking and sleeping in town centre doorways.

Ipswich Central chairman Terry Baxter said many businesses in the town centre were concerned about the apparent rise in anti-social behaviour that was putting visitors off from coming into the town.

Deputy mayor Roger Fern and mayor Sarah Barber at the launch of the Help Our Homeless Project in Ipswich. Picture: Pagepix Deputy mayor Roger Fern and mayor Sarah Barber at the launch of the Help Our Homeless Project in Ipswich. Picture: Pagepix

And following the publication of the report into gang violence from Dr Paul Andell from the University of Suffolk, businesses felt there was a need to discuss their fears with the police and other bodies.

Mr Baxter said: “We are determined this will be a summit with a real purpose, it must not just be a talking shop. We have to see this situation is being addressed.”

The summit is being arranged with the support of the Ipswich Chamber and the East of England Co-op, whose director Minnie Moll is a member of the Ipswich Central board.

Mr Passmore met the Ipswich Central board with Suffolk Chief Constable Gareth Wilson and said he was determined to do all he could to address the concerns.

He said: “We are doing all we can to address the problems of the town centre, particularly with a view to rough sleeping and begging, but we know it is not a simple issue to address.

“We work with other agencies like local authorities, Ipswich Central and local groups, we gave IHAG (Ipswich Housing Action Group) £25,000 for their work in the town.”

Two PCSOs have been working to get the message across to people not to give to beggars but to support charities working with the homeless.

But he realised there were no easy solutions: “We need to all work together on this. It isn’t a problem that any one organisation can deal with on its own.”

Minnie Moll, Joint Chief Executive – East of England Co-op and Board Member of Ipswich Central said: “The East of England Co-op has over 20 food stores in Ipswich, and the safety of our colleagues, members and customers is a priority for us.

“In fact, we believe we’re the only retailer in the country with a dedicated anti-social behaviour officer who provides specialist support to our colleagues and community.

“We are aware of concerning trends in Ipswich so we are fully supportive of the Action for Ipswich Summit and look forward to hosting it at Wherstead Park next month.”

Former mayor warns of the challenge of dealing with Ipswich homeless

Last year’s Ipswich mayor Roger Fern has worked to help homeless people and warned there were no easy or cheap solutions to the problem.

He said: “This is a very difficult issue. Almost everyone living on the streets has serious mental health problems and will need to be supported for a very long time.

“There are problems with aggressive beggars. I was accosted by one near St Stephen’s Church the other day when wearing the chain (he is still deputy mayor). My response was assertive!”

He said it was not just a case of moving people into their own room or flat – they needed to be helped. It was a situation that was getting worse, and Ipswich was not unique.

Mr Fern said: “Those who you see living on the streets often have very serious drink or drug problems and any treatment takes a long time and there needs to be robust mental health structures to support them in that.”

An alliance of schools in Ipswich has won £20,000 of funding to boost the quality of teaching in the area through better use of research.

A car has rolled onto its roof following a single vehicle collision on the A12 at Copdock.

A well-known Elvis impersonator from Ipswich has died at the age of 57 following a short battle with cancer.

A Second World War hand grenade has been destroyed in a controlled explosion after being handed in at Felixstowe Police Station by a member of the public.

An mother-of-six can continue keeping pets despite being convicted of mistreating a dog.

An A&E department in Suffolk had to close to ambulances for a temporary period because patient safety was at risk, it has been revealed.

Cash was stolen after an aggravated burglary in Brettenham where a liquid substance was thrown into a victim’s face.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24