Police and community groups patrol town centre with Suffolk in 'very perilous position'
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Police officers and community support teams have been speaking with shoppers and businesses in Ipswich town centre to remind them of coronavirus guidelines in the build-up to Christmas.
Suffolk police, advisers from Ipswich Borough Council and officers from Trading Standards patrolled the town centre on Tuesday morning to speak to the community as part of a multi-agency action day.
The teams patrolled as Suffolk's police and crime commissioner, Tim Passmore, said the county was in a "very perilous position" due to rising infection rates.
The coronavirus infection rate in Ipswich is the highest in Suffolk and has continued to grow over the last few weeks.
According to government data, the seven-day infection rate in Suffolk's county town was 242.5 cases per 100,000 people in the week up to December 18.
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This represents a rise from the rate of 198.7 cases per 100,000 people reported the previous week.
The Babergh district currently has the second-highest infection rate in the county, with 231.4 cases per 100,000 people in the week up to December 18.
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Suffolk remains under Tier 2 measures after the government held its first review of the system last week.
But Suffolk health chiefs have warned the county may be placed into Tier 3 - or even Tier 4 - if the number of cases continues to grow.
All non-essential retailers can remain open in Tier 3, but would be ordered to close under Tier 4 restrictions.
Stuart Keeble, Suffolk's director of public health, previously said the rising figures meant the prospect of facing harsher measures is "very probable".
Mr Passmore has warned the community "there is no room for complacency" and urged residents to continue following the government's guidelines.
He said: "Sadly the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in Suffolk shows none of us are safe while this virus is amongst us.
“We must stand together and strong. Suffolk needs every single one of us to take this seriously – there is no room for complacency.
"Our county is in a very perilous position and I cannot emphasise enough how serious the situation is.
"The actions we take over the coming weeks and months, while we wait for the vaccine to be fully rolled out, will significantly impact on our ability to overcome this pandemic."