Ipswich: Vulnerable people jump off Orwell Bridge – or attempt to – every seven weeks
- Credit: Archant
Vulnerable people jump off the Orwell Bridge – or attempt to – nearly every seven weeks, new figures show.
Statistics released by Suffolk Police under Freedom of Information laws revealed the force has been called out to 24 incidents at the bridge’s parapet since 2010.
Four people have taken their own life while 19 people attempted to jump. One person jumped but survived, the figures showed.
Suffolk police class an attempt to jump as someone climbing on to the parapet of the bridge which could imply an intention to jump.
Colin Stuart, branch director of Ipswich and East Suffolk Samaritans, said vulnerable men aged between 35 and 55 are considered the most “high risk” in Ipswich.
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“The Samaritans are not just there for the suicidal – we are there to support people feeling distressed or in despair which obviously includes these people, and to talk to them before they reach that point,” he said.
“We help people talk through their personal issues and support them.”
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A Suffolk police spokesman said: “Police officers can be faced with difficult and challenging situations every day. If someone is threatening to jump from a bridge or building a trained negotiator will be called out to try and deal with the situation whenever possible.
“However, effective communication training is carried out both with new and existing officers and this experience will assist any officer in trying to resolve an issue of this nature.
“If a situation is more urgent it may be necessary for an officer to act quickly and restrain a suicidal person under the Mental Health Act in order to stop them from harming themselves.”
The Samaritans can be reached by calling 01473 211133 or 08457 909090 or emailing email@example.com
All calls are confidential.