Community raise concerns at public meeting organised after death of 17-year-old
PUBLISHED: 22:15 04 June 2018 | UPDATED: 06:36 05 June 2018
Hundreds of people turned out for a public meeting in Ipswich tonight – organised following the death of a 17-year-old boy.
Tavis Spencer-Aitkens was named as the victim of a fatal stabbing in Packard Avenue this afternoon, as police continued their investigation into what happened.
Tonight’s meeting was organised by Ipswich council so that members of the community could make their voices heard.
Concerns were raised about the availability of activities for youngsters, as well as police response to previous incidents in the neighbourhood.
Many called on various agencies at the meeting to take action and invest more in young people, rather than in projects such as the Cornhill.
One crowd member asked: “Why is £3million being spent on concrete?”
Meanwhile, one of those who spoke at the meeting was just 10 years old.
The young boy told the audience “I’m scared”, before bursting into tears.
His mother, who picked up the microphone afterwards, told the crowd he had been too scared to go to school that morning.
Responding to this, Suffolk police’s Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Kearton said she and officers in the area would make it safe.
She added: “I pledge now we will make it a better place in the future.”
Ms Kearton was joined at the meeting by Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore, Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere, Ipswich MP Sandy Martin and former Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber, who led proceedings.
Mr Ellesmere said both county and borough councils had been working on community projects – and that money had been set aside for this.
Tim Passmore also highlighted the need for more cash to be invested in such initiatives, adding that he would be looking into whether grants could be increased in the next year.
“We have got to do more and do it together,” said Mr Passmore.
Ideas for other projects, such as a community garden, were also discussed.
Audience members called for children to be worked with from a very young age, and more consistently, to help them stay away from potential problems later in life.
Hopes were high that another meeting would be held soon to follow up on suggestions and comments made.