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Armed police called to Suffolk village following reports of firearm threat

PUBLISHED: 12:31 13 July 2018

Armed police talk to a young person in Wickham Market Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Armed police talk to a young person in Wickham Market Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

Armed police were called to reports of a firearm being brandished in a Suffolk village where people are said to be too scared to go out at night.

The bus shelter in Wickham Market has been destroyed by fire Picture: JULIAN EVANSThe bus shelter in Wickham Market has been destroyed by fire Picture: JULIAN EVANS

Suffolk Constabulary confirmed officers were called to Wickham Market following reports “a man had been threatened by another man with a firearm”.

“Armed officers searched the area but no traces of the man or a firearm were found,” a police spokesman added.

“However, detectives investigating the incident believe this was a targeted attack and inquiries are currently ongoing.”

The disturbance on Tuesday afternoon came after the village’s bus shelter had been burned down by suspected arsonists in the early hours of that morning.

MORE: ‘It’s just disgusting’ - Arsonists burn down village’s bus shelter

Wickham Market Parish Council parish clerk Jo Peters said people had been “sickened” by the crime, which was part of a “massive” anti-social behaviour problem in the village.

Ms Peters said CCTV showed the apparent culprits “celebrating” around the burnt out shell of the bus shelter, who later were carrying on in the village “as bold as brass”.

“People are beginning to feel unsafe living in Wickham Market,” she said. “They don’t want to go out at night.”

A witness to the arrival of armed police in the village centre, who asked to remain anonymous, said he saw a young man “drinking beer and being abusive to passersby”.

“He had an argument with at least two older men,” he added.

The witness said onlookers appeared to be too fearful to get involved but the young man’s attitude “soon changed when two groups of armed police marched into the square”.

In separate reports, the witness claimed to have heard from other villagers that an older man had been “beaten up by youths” outside a shop and had his “head cut open with a shopping basket”.

Suffolk police said officers had received further reports of anti-social behaviour.

“The matter is actively being investigated and officers will deal robustly with any offences relating to these issues to ensure the quality of life is preserved in Wickham Market,” the police spokesman added.

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call police on 101.

Alternatively people can call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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