More patrols after teens brandish gun

POLICE last night vowed to step up patrols around a Suffolk shopping centre where two teenage boys were threatened with what was believed to a handgun.

POLICE last night vowed to step up patrols around a Suffolk shopping centre where two teenage boys were threatened with what was believed to a handgun.

The pair, aged 13 and 16, were approached by three older boys, one of whom appeared to be wielding a firearm, in Stoke Park Drive, Ipswich.

They group tried to force the 13-year-old boy into handing over his mobile phone and then assaulted him. Although nothing was stolen, he suffered cuts to his head and mouth.

A second boy, aged 16, had his mobile phone stolen but was unhurt after being threatened by the same group, at about 10pm on Friday .


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In the wake of the incident - the town's second gun-related crime in a week - police have said they will increase patrols in the area, both high-visibility and plain-uniform.

Last night, Ipswich borough councillor Paul West, whose ward covers the area, said: “It's a real concern that sort of thing has been happening.

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“I shall be contacting the police to ask for some sort of explanation about what can be done in the area.”

A local businessman, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “There have been a lot of problems in the area with kids and vandalism and the problems seem to be growing.

“The rising number of incidents in the area is a worry to everyone. I haven't heard of anything like this happening before but I have heard of shop windows being smashed with air guns in the past.”

It is believed there were many youngsters in the area at the time, and police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Dc Timothy Wheatley, of Suffolk police, said he hoped parents of teenagers known to have been in the area at the time would question them about their knowledge of what he described as a “serious” incident.

He also pledged police would increase patrols and do more work in the area to combat the rising tide of problems blighting residents' lives.

The offenders are described as being of mixed race, aged in their mid to late teens and wearing dark clothing.

The area where the attack took place is set to be demolished with the next few months, with plans for an Asda supermarket to be built in its place. Work could start on the development in January.

Friday's attempted armed robbery happened just two days after a man involved in a brawl allegedly had a gun pointed at his head in Dandalan Close, Ipswich. Four men were arrested following the incident.

Anyone with information about the attempted robbery is asked to call Dc Wheatley at Ipswich CID on 01473 383046.

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