Call for tougher stance on crime

POLICE have been urged to take action over the increasing level of anti-social behaviour caused by youngsters in a Suffolk market town.

Last night officers acknowledged there were problems in Saxmundham and pledged to clamp down on any youths who were stepping out of line.

At a meeting of the town council on Monday, concerns were raised that levels of anti-social behaviour were on the rise – particularly in the Market Place and at the adventure playground at Carlton Park.

It is believed that many of the individuals are coming from nearby Leiston, where police have mounted a high-profile campaign to crack down on a troublesome gang of youths.

Town councillor Sir Peter Batho, who also sits on the district council, said: “It has been getting considerably worse in the last three or four weeks.

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“I am told that a lot of those youths are travelling in from Leiston, where there has been a certain amount of pressure. The public left the police in no doubt that they wanted to see something done, and very fast.

“Unfortunately, those responsible now seem to have parked themselves in Saxmundham. What we need to do is nip it in the bud and stop it now.”

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Councillors also heard about a break-in at the Scout hut and it was suggested by members that they write to the chief constable and also invite the local sector commander to their next meeting.

The Saxmundham and Framlingham Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) has made tackling anti-social behaviour in the town a priority.

Sergeant Daye Goddard acknowledged there were problems but assured they were working with their colleagues at Leiston SNT and partner agencies to help identify those responsible and deal robustly with offenders.

“We are mindful that there has been a cross-over,” she said.

“We are aware of what is happening and are working with our colleagues to target the offenders.

“Officers have been deployed here as well. It is not just a case of Leiston getting all the cover.”

She said she was also hoping to set up a steering group to come up with a solution to the problems – something she hoped the town council would be involved in.

“It is absolutely vital that we all work together,” she said.

“We need people to help us. For example, one of the issues is that there is not actually a lot for youngsters to do in Saxmundham.

“There needs to be better facilities and we are working with a number of organisations to try to take some ideas forward. I am looking at setting up a steering group and I hope the town council will be part of that.

“Similarly, if someone has been the victim of crime or sees an offence taking place, we need them to call it in as soon as possible – we can’t take action if it is not reported.”

To contact the SNT call 01473 613500 or e-mail

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