CCTV hope after bus robbery

NEWLY installed closed circuit television cameras could identify armed robbers who held up a bus at gunpoint before robbing the driver.The First bus company yesterday handed over video footage from a 66 bus to Suffolk police to help them catch the armed duo responsible for the raid in a village near Ipswich.

By Richard Smith

NEWLY installed closed circuit television cameras could identify armed robbers who held up a bus at gunpoint before robbing the driver.

The First bus company yesterday handed over video footage from a 66 bus to Suffolk police to help them catch the armed duo responsible for the raid in a village near Ipswich.

The robbers were waiting at a bus stop in The Street, Martlesham, and flagged down a bus travelling towards Ipswich at about 10.50pm on Sunday.


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One man was carrying a gun and he threatened the driver before forcing him to hand over cash and personal belongings.

No shots were fired during the raid and the driver, aged in his early 20s and living in the Ipswich area, was left unhurt but shaken and distressed by his ordeal. He has not been identified.

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The man escaped in a dark coloured estate vehicle heading towards Ipswich. Police described them as both being about 5ft 4ins tall and wearing balaclavas. One robber was of slim to medium build and he was wearing a dark ''puffa'' style jacket and yellow gloves. The other robber had a chunky build and he was wearing a dark waist-length jacket.

The targeted bus was a brand new £160,000 double decker vehicle fitted with the latest security measures. Older buses do not have CCTV fitted as a normal specification and the bus company is hoping that its recent investment in video cameras will pay off and trap the robbers. The bus was fitted with a toughened security screen but it was not bullet-proof.

The bus was in service but there were no passengers on board and a spokesman for First said there would not have been much cash with the driver because it was a Sunday Service and late in the evening.

He assured bus passengers that it was unprecedented in Suffolk for a bus to be held up at gunpoint and he said that a traffic superintendent with 10 years' experience in Ipswich had never experienced anything like this before.

''While it is obviously of huge concern that it has happened, at this point it has only happened once. It is not as if it is a recurring problem in a particular area that should make us consider changing our route or reviewing the safety.

''We would like to think that because of our preventative measures such as closed circuit television we do not need to take further steps at this stage, but of course we will be talking to the other drivers to see how they feel,'' said the spokesman.

A spokesman for the Transport and General Workers' Union said: ''Bus companies are working closely with the T&G to make sure that drivers are afforded physical protection, such as screens to their cabs, as well as CCTV and training in how to deal with an attack.''

Anyone with information should call Woodbridge CID on 01473 613500.

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