Top cop vows to tackle burglary problem

A TOP policeman said tackling the ongoing burglary problem in Suffolk's county town is his first priority in the months ahead. Chief Superintendent John Fletcher said the force was launching a concentrated effort in cutting break-ins in Ipswich and reducing the distress caused to victims.

A TOP policeman said tackling the ongoing burglary problem in Suffolk's county town is his first priority in the months ahead.

Chief Superintendent John Fletcher said the force was launching a concentrated effort in cutting break-ins in Ipswich and reducing the distress caused to victims.

He was speaking in his new role as area commander of the southern area of Suffolk, which was formerly occupied by Geoff Munns who retired in September.

Figures show there have been 57 burglaries at homes in the west of Ipswich in little over a month, and a further 19 break-ins in the last five days alone.


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The incidents have happened since the beginning of December with residents living in the Bramford Lane, Whitehouse, Old Stoke and Stoke Park areas of Ipswich the worst hit.

Ch Supt Fletcher, who was formerly head of corporate development based at Suffolk police's Martlesham headquarters, said: “At this moment in time the area - particularly Ipswich - has got a burglary problem and that is our key priority at the moment.

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“As a result of that there are a lot of resources and effort going into detecting these offences and preventing more. The clear message I want to send to perpetrators is we are determined to stop the distress this type of crime causes and actually bring them to justice.

“It's a well established fact a large percentage of crime is committed by a small number of people. In relation to this particular investigation, we are keeping an open mind about who the offenders might be.”

Ch Supt Fletcher joined Suffolk Constabulary in 1984 as a police constable based in Bury St Edmunds and has previously worked as inspector in Ipswich where he implemented the town centre unit in 2002, chief inspector for the Ipswich sector and superintendent in the southern area.

Speaking of his new appointment, he said: “I am delighted to be back and be given the opportunity to carry on the very good work that my predecessor has put in place over the past four years.

“There is no doubt about it, the work that Geoff did, particularly in developing working relationships with partners and leading the area in tackling crime and disorder, was a great achievement and has been recognised not only in the county at force level but also attracted interest from the Home Office not least in relation to the work with the neighbourhood team in south east Ipswich.

“It's a hard act to follow. I think with the foundation he has built we have a good means now of moving forward.”

Ch Supt Fletcher said the area was looking to further develop neighbourhood policing, which is a key Government requirement.

“Ipswich in particular has been ahead of the game through the work of the south east and south west and I'm keen to build on that across the whole borough,” he said.

“The Government has made a pledge to increase the number of Community Support Officers (CSOs) and it's very likely Suffolk will see an increase in these numbers.

“Neighbourhood policing is not a soft option it's about directing resources to specific areas to solve the problems in partnership with others.”

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