Clean-up blitz for Suffolk town

COMMUNITY safety chiefs descended on a north Suffolk town to clean up its streets of everything from fly tipping and truancy to dog fouling and unpaid road tax.

Mark Lord

COMMUNITY safety chiefs descended on a north Suffolk town to clean up its streets of everything from fly tipping and truancy to dog fouling and unpaid road tax.

The first ever IMPACT event was held in Leiston yesterday - featuring teams from the county and district councils, fire service, police, trading standards, the Vehicle and Operator Service Agency (VOSA) and educational welfare.

The aim was to bring to the fore any problems that the local community might have and try and address these issues.


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Jackie Abbott, Leiston police community support officer (PCSO), said it was important they showed residents a great deal of positive work is being done in the local area.

“By being out and about in the town the teams are able to talk to people and by doing so address problems that they may not have wanted to come forward to us with,” she said. “These may not, in the scheme of things be major issues when compared with other areas, but they are problems which can affect residents and their happiness.”

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Denise Whiting, community fire safety officer, added: “By having all of the various agencies together we are able to deal with a lot of problems a lot quicker than we may have been able to normally. For instance the town clerk contacted us about some graffiti and we have been able to deal with this and it will be gone by the end of the day.”

During the four hour blitz, educational welfare officers found 10 young people working without permits and carried out four home visits.

Of the 18 vehicles checked by the VOSA two were impounded with immediate prohibition notices and 17 received delayed prohibitions, with one vehicle receiving both.

The Environment Agency found six issues requiring follow up, HM Revenue and Customs carried out 13 fuel dips to check for the illegal use of red diesel and the DVLA found two cases of untaxed vehicles.

Fire safety officers visited 71 commercial premises and as a result are following up seven of these, while police, Suffolk Coastal District Council and Suffolk County Council will also be following up various issues.

A fixed penalty notice was also handed out for littering, pathways were cleared of dogs mess and undergrowth and two cases of flytipping were tackled along with 27 incidents of graffiti.

Meanwhile Trading Standards provided advice on doorstep callers to nine homes and advised four traders - they also picked up intelligence on four areas to follow up as potential no cold-calling zones.

Joanna Spicer, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for public protection, attended the operation.

“I am delighted the event has been so fruitful and productive for both the local community and officers,” she said.

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