Thousands call for better town policing

By Jenni DixonA TAXI driver has collected more than 2,600 signatures in a petition calling for better policing in his town.Richard Adams, 44, has visited shops, clubs and pubs in the past month to get support for his campaign for Beccles police station to be manned 24 hours a day and for community wardens to be brought in to bridge what he saw as a gap between residents and the police.

By Jenni Dixon

A TAXI driver has collected more than 2,600 signatures in a petition calling for better policing in his town.

Richard Adams, 44, has visited shops, clubs and pubs in the past month to get support for his campaign for Beccles police station to be manned 24 hours a day and for community wardens to be brought in to bridge what he saw as a gap between residents and the police.

Mr Adams, who has lived in Beccles all his life, said crime was creeping in and he wanted it nipped in the bud before it got worse.


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"I did not expect police to be sitting inside the office all night, but it would be nice to have patrols in the evenings two or three minutes away from the station so if anyone needed an officer, they would get there quicker, but instead we have to telephone Martlesham," he added.

But Inspector Tim Powell, of Suffolk police, said it would be highly unlikely that the police station would be manned 24 hours a day, but he hoped community wardens might be available in the future.

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"I do not perceive there is a need. The station is open from 8am to 10pm, which is in line with most other police stations - only Ipswich police station in Civic Drive is open all the time," he added.

"When it is closed, there is a telephone which people can use free of charge to contract the switchboard and control room which can contact the officers."

Insp Powell said Suffolk police's eastern area was recruiting community wardens at the moment and would be initially stationed at Ipswich and Felixstowe, but they could be moved later to Beccles.

"I would be delighted to have community safety officers available and with some hopefully in the Beccles area," he added.

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said: "Policing is demand driven. Resources are targeted according to demand on a daily basis. It's much easier if officers are going around in their cars in the area so they can get to incidents quickly."

jenni.dixon@eadt.co.uk

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