Safety measures stepped up in Ipswich
WITH all of Ipswich gripped by fear that a serial killer is on the loose, women are being urged to take no chances and ensure they are well protected.With the festive season upon us and Christmas office parties in full swing employers and travel companies are offering safety advice to late night revellers.
WITH all of Ipswich gripped by fear that a serial killer is on the loose, women are being urged to take no chances and ensure they are well protected.
With the festive season upon us and Christmas office parties in full swing employers and travel companies are offering safety advice to late night revellers.
Police have already said that women should “look after each other” and never leave friends alone, while making sure someone knows what time they expect to be back.
If they must travel alone, they have been advised to stick to well-lit main streets, avoid alleyways and dark side roads.
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Ipswich's travel companies said they were working hard to ensure passengers felt safe when travelling in the dark.
Roger Haywood, communications advisor to Great Eastern buses, said: “All of our drivers receive training which focuses on making the safety of passengers a priority at all times.
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“For example, if a driver is concerned, he might suggest that a lady passenger get off at a lighted stop and he does have the authority to phone the police if they think there is a risk.
“Other than that there is little we can actually do, however we are noticing that more women are travelling in pairs or are being met from the bus stop.”
A spokesman for Ipswich Buses said shuttle services were being laid on for staff and urged passengers to follow the police advice.
A spokesman for train operator One said: “We are liaising with our external partners including the British Transport Police, Suffolk police and trusts such as the Suzy Lamplugh trust, and follow any advice given from those partners to increase the vigilance of both our staff and passengers.”
Shaun De Silva, chairman of Ipswich Pubwatch and landlord of the Freemasons Tavern in Victoria Street and the Brewers Arms in Orford Street, said he thought all pubs would be taking measures to ensure the late night safety of female customers and staff.
“In my case that goes as far as supplying and paying for a taxi or taking my employees home personally or making sure that they are collected by a family member or spouse,” he said.
“I would also reiterate the police advice - not to go out on your own, to stay together, and make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you are expecting to get back.”
Meanwhile, Suffolk County Council confirmed it had issued staff with panic alarms and was putting on shuttle buses to car parks and Ipswich train station to ensure employees are as safe as possible.
A spokesperson said: “We have a lot of staff and many of these are fairly young so we have given out safety advice and issued them with panic alarms.
“We are also running special shuttle bus services to car parks and the train station for county and borough council employees so they do not have to walk alone in the dark.
“We are reiterating the safety message to staff and will continue to do so while these events continue.”
Suffolk police are advising women to:
Be alert - walk with purpose and confidence.
Plan your route there and back. Avoid short cuts through unlit or deserted areas.
Whenever possible, do not walk alone.
Let someone know where you are going and your time of return.
Walk facing the traffic so a car cannot pull up behind you unnoticed.
If you walk alone regularly or go jogging or cycling, try to vary your route and time and take the routes that you know best.
Be aware of your surroundings, a personal stereo may prevent you from hearing traffic or somebody approaching behind you.
Carry a personal attack alarm in your hand or on your belt (available from any police station)
If you are confronted, use your alarm and run; scream and shout to attract attention.
Do not hitchhike or accept lifts from strangers.
When waiting for a train or bus, stand where it is well-lit and there are other people.
If you are travelling on an empty bus or it's after dark, sit on the lower deck near the driver or conductor.
When the taxi arrives, ask the name of the person the driver is to collect as well as his name and company.
When arriving home, have your money and house keys ready and consider asking the driver to wait until you are in the house.