Cops hail dispersal order success as crime is halved

POLICE officers have today hailed a dispersal order, imposed in parts of an Ipswich estate, a success - halving crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.

The order was imposed in parts of Whitehouse on October 30 last year in partnership with Ipswich Borough Council (IBC) and Suffolk County Council.

The problem area, which included Ulster Avenue shops, was identified as an area where particular groups of youths seemed determined to cause disorder.

Under the order the total number of events police officers were called has dropped from 162 from June to August 2009 to 117 during the same period this year.

In the same time period the number of anti-social behaviour (ASB) events has fallen from 47 to 23 and the total number of recorded crimes in the area has more than halved from 50 to just 22.

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Under the order, made possible under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, senior officers are given the power to disperse groups likely to cause harassment, intimidation, alarm or distress to members of the public.

Inspector Richard Lane from the West Ipswich Safer Neighbourhood Team said working with their partners officers have used a variety of different methods in an attempt to alleviate the problem.

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He said: “It has been encouraging to see the behaviour of the young people change for the better in the area.

“It should be noted that even though reports of ASB are still being received, it is their nature which have changed.

“The public now have faith that the police and their partners take their concerns seriously and deal effectively.

“We have had good feedback from residents and businesses alike that they have noticed a definite improvement in the area.

“It is important to note that the police and especially the Safer Neighbourhood Team will not tolerate ASB, will continue to work closely with partner agencies and will not turn our back on the area.

“It remains a priority for the North West Ipswich Safer Neighbourhood Team and as always we welcome reports from the community in order to build an effective policing response.”

Mary Young, county councillor for Whitehouse and Whitton said: “The hard work and effort that the North West Ipswich Safer Neighbourhood Team have put into the dispersal order area over the past year has really brought great results: a decrease in rowdy and inconsiderate behaviour, caused mainly by a minority group of youths in the area.

“I whole-heartedly support their work together with other partnerships, which have been involved. An excellent bit of ‘community policing’.”

And Sharon Barker of the Whitehouse Chip Shop added: “This has been the best summer in 20-years.”

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