Crime fears voiced

FRUSTRATED residents have called on police to name and shame a gang of youths who they believe are responsible for a string of crimes in their community.

More than 100 people turned out in force last night for a lively meeting at Leiston High School to voice their concerns.

It was also attended by Suffolk Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Stewart Gull and local safer neighbourhood team Inspector Chris Gilmore.

Residents asked for the meeting because they have become increasingly concerned about the level of crime being carried out by a group of youths in Leiston, which has also spread to neighbouring towns including Saxmundham.

Mr Gull said all 26 individuals were known to police and while one had been jailed, another had received a curfew order and others were going through the court system or on police bail.

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Residents urged police to name and shame the gang members so they could help report the culprits if they were seen breaking the law.

One lady, who had her house burgled by the gang, said: “All these youths are making a mockery of the police and the justice system. They are scaring families and elderly people and your officers just aren’t touching them.”

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The individuals cannot be named because of their age but Mr Gilmore said along with their partners – which include the district council – the police had been working hard to crackdown on the gang by increasing patrols and taking action where necessary.

“We want to make it clear we are going to relentlessly pursue these individuals,” he said. “However we cannot do it without your help.”

He said he would also be writing to and visiting the parents of the youths concerned and the force had also applied for a number of criminal anti social behavior orders.

Mr Gull added: “Rest assured that if these individuals remain intent on committing crime in this community then we will have no hesitation in continuing to take positive action as we have already done.”

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