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Robberies on the rise in Ipswich, latest crime figures reveal

Detective Superintendent Andy Smith of Suffolk police outside Suffolk Constabulary HQ. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Detective Superintendent Andy Smith of Suffolk police outside Suffolk Constabulary HQ. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Robberies in Ipswich have increased by more than 20% over the last year - while drug-related offences have risen by more than a third in West Suffolk, latest crime figures have revealed.

Ipswich police drug raid (stock image) Picture: COLIN ADWENTIpswich police drug raid (stock image) Picture: COLIN ADWENT

New data, published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), shows there were 180 robberies in Ipswich between April 2017 and March 2018 – up 21.6% on 2016-17 when 148 incidents were recorded.

In West Suffolk, drugs offences were up by 36.7% on the previous year, from 652 between April 2017 and March 2018 to 477 in 2016-17.

In Ipswich, drugs-related offences rose by 35.2%.

However, in Suffolk Coastal, Waveney and the West Suffolk districts, the overall rate of crime was lower than the average in England and Wales.

Ipswich was higher, at 116 crimes per 1,000 residents – compared to the England and Wales average of 82.

Detective Superintendent Andy Smith, Suffolk police’s head of investigations, said the figures showed how the constabulary was targeting its policing.

He said: “In terms of drug crime the force operates Operation Velocity and has prioritised targeted resources towards drug dealers, and in particular county lines.

“These drug offence figures reflect the proactive approach Suffolk police takes with drug crime and the affect it has with other crimes. That is a positive in my view.”

He said the rise in robbery offences was a national trend, in part fuelled by drug related offences.

“The main point I would like to make on robberies is that these are still comparatively small numbers across the county,” he said.

“Drug dealing activities is playing its part in this with robberies between dealers and users.

“This is a national trend that is not unique to Suffolk.”

He added there is a big difference in crime ‘solve rates’ for robberies in Ipswich compared to the east of the county.

In East Suffolk, 41.1% of robberies are solved – in Ipswich the figure is 15%.

Det Supt Smith said this is mainly down to the higher proportion of robberies involving those with a link to drug offences in Ipswich, who are less likely to support and follow through with a prosecution if they are a victim of a crime.

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