Ipswich: Communities unite to fight back against yobs

A STRONG bond forged between the community, police and local authorities has led to anti-social behaviour plummeting by nearly 40 per cent in four years.

Throughout the intervening period there has been a steady downward trend in reports of yobs plaguing residents and businesses.

This is further illustrated by a comparison between this year’s figures and last year’s which show a drop of 21pc, or 1,332 offences.

Cutting anti-social behaviour has been one of the priorities of Suffolk Constabulary’s crime strategy for the past few years, after many communities told the force it was their primary concern.

Acting Chief Inspector Andy Mason, of Ipswich Police, said he felt there were a number of significant reasons behind the downturn in the town.

This includes targeting persistent mischief makers or those who cause trouble.

Ch Insp Mason said: “Now we have got a system where we have got our Safer Neighbourhood Team partnerships in place. We have a case management system we have purchased where all the agencies such as the police, borough council and county council have access to it.

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“This means rather than just dealing with things generically we are dealing with them in a targeted manner.

“If someone repeatedly comes to our attention we will deal with them.

“Also across the country it seems society has decided anti-social behaviour is no longer acceptable.

“Safer Neighbourhood Teams are really well embedded now and long term projects are starting to bear fruit with people now seeing this sort of behaviour is unacceptable.”

Ch Insp Mason added a lot of work had also been done to ensure the problems caused by street drinkers have diminished.

This has resulted in a reduction of 37pc in offences committed by them year-on-year.

At the forefront of this work is now the Reducing the Strength campaign, which was launched in September, and aims to voluntarily get super-strength, low-cost alcohol off the shelves of off licences and supermarkets in the town.

Ch Insp Mason said: “We are exceptionally please with the downward trend in anti-social behaviour and are obviously going to do everything we can to continue that trend. We feel the effects to the community of the long-term good are now being realised.”

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