Needham Market vandalism spree sees cancer sufferer hit four times in under a week
A cancer sufferer is calling for vigilance after his property was damaged four times in a spate of vandalism in a Suffolk town.
Gordon Edie, 64, said he was normally a calm person but had been angered by the attacks in Needham Market, which cost hundreds of pounds to repair.
The vandals first sprayed graffiti on his fence in Stowmarket Road last Wednesday, before slashing the tyres on his car overnight on Saturday into Sunday. They returned that evening and slashed the tyres on his work vehicle and damaged a security light.
He later learned five other vandalism incidents had been reported in the town recently and sought to highlight the problem. “It seems to be escalating,” he added. “We’ve lived here more than 30 years and nothing like this has ever happened before – we’re not going to put up with it. Mainly I want to highlight it so that if these little idiots see that it’s in the public eye they will stop.”
Mr Edie, who has advanced prostate cancer said the attacks had affected his health.
“Normally, I’m a pretty calm person and I don’t tend to lose my temper but I got very stressed from this,” he added.
He reported the first incident to Suffolk police’s non-emergency number and was shocked to learn it could take up to seven days for officers to respond. After his tyres were slashed again he called 999 fearing the offenders could still be nearby with knives. He said the police officer who attended was “brilliant”, though he felt the initial response was “ a joke”.
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His wife, Debra Edie, was also concerned by the response to the 101 call. When the vandals first struck, she thought the attack might have been personal. It was only after a police officer visited that she learned it was part of a spate of vandalism.
“I’m sorry for the other people that have been affected but it did make me feel better knowing it wasn’t personal,” she added. “The other people might not know that if they’ve not had a visit.”
Chief Inspector Matthew Rose said calls received a “proportionate response” based on the information received, irrespective of whether they came in via 999 or 101.
Sergeant Andrew Martin said police were looking into links between six incidents of criminal damage in Needham Market and had increased patrols in the area. Anyone with information is asked to call Stowmarket SNT on 101.