Agenda item

Policing Update


8.1.       The Chair introduced Inspector Pursehouse of the Ipswich East Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), who provided the following update on policing priorities.

Following the tragic events leading to the death of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens, a public meeting was held on Monday 4 June with key partners, where a commitment was given to providing community initiatives in response to the issues raised, with a follow-up meeting to be held in a couple of weeks.

A number of arrests had been made in relation to Tavis’ death and Police investigations were continuing.  Police were appealing for any information to be reported, either by phone, online or anonymously through Crimestoppers.

The Police pod set up on Queens Way would be there for at least a few more days and additional resource had been deployed to provide reassurance within the community.

Other policing priorities in South East Ipswich included Operation Parkland, which addressed anti-social behaviour (ASB) over the summer months through a dedicated team, with additional patrols targeting known ASB hotspots.  Any community intelligence relating to ASB should be reported so that the correct areas could be targeted.

Speed enforcement had been continuing, with the speed indicator device (SID) being deployed on a daily basis.  


8.2.       Local resident: The SID has been deployed infrequently on Ravenswood, between 9.00am and 4.45pm, often mid-morning; however, the time of day when most speeding occurred was when people were driving home from work, but the SID was usually taken away by then as Officers went off duty.
The SID was used to cover all of the South East area, with locations agreed by the South East Neighbourhood Partnership Group (NPG), and usage of the SID was reviewed monthly.  There had to be a balance between the number of roads covered and the length of time the SID was deployed at each location.  To be able to deploy the SID between 6pm and 9pm would require extra resource; this would be need to be considered at the SE NPG to see how this could be done.

8.3.       Local resident: There were still issues with vehicles parking on the Cliff Lane junction. Also, could a ‘Shopkeeper Watch’ be set up for Queens Way similar to that established with shopkeepers on Cliff Lane?
The Cliff Lane junction was a known issue, and patrols/enforcement was done when resource allowed.  There had been some discussion about the possibility of road signage.
The Police support the ‘Shopkeeper Watch’ initiative, and would be happy to work with shopkeepers on Queens Way if there was a community contact to progress this.

8.4.       Councillor Connelly: Local residents were the eyes of the community.  What was the best way for them to report information with a degree of safety?
Crimestoppers was an anonymous service where no name or contact details need be provided; but this information could not be used if a matter were taken to court.  Alternatively, information could be reported by calling 101 or reporting it online, the latter takes about 2½ minutes to filter through; this information would not be divulged to the public, but could be used to follow up investigations.

8.5.       Councillor Harsant: Following the terrible events on Saturday, proposed actions were being focused on the Priory Heath area, but this needs to be extended across the whole of the South East.  Tavis lived in the Holywells area and Cliff Lane schoolchildren were very concerned and need reassurance. There has also been ASB in Holywells Park, with the tin being stolen from the Stable Block and the Ice-cream Kiosk being crow-barred open, and this situation was likely to get worse over the summer.
The initial response would be focused on Queens Way, with additional patrols and street lights being left on at night; thereafter, issues would be looked at across Ipswich as a whole.  The Police were working with high schools on a programme to visit schools and talk about gang issues across the town.

8.6.       Councillor Cook: Could crime statistics be extracted from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) website for future meetings? In relation to minute 73.3, there has not been a response given for the 70% increase in burglary in Ipswich.
There has been a national increase in crime for many reasons, including the way that crime was now recorded.  Ipswich as the largest urban area in Suffolk would provide more properties to target in comparison to other parts of the county.  All reported house burglaries were attended by the Police, and burglars were being apprehended and charged; Officers also worked with the community to promote crime prevention measures, such as installing cameras.

8.7.       Councillor Gaylard:  What was being done to address online crime?
A dedicated Cybercrime Unit has been set up in Halesworth in response to the increase in cybercrime. The Unit worked with other Police Forces to help identify intelligence, but online criminals could potentially be anywhere worldwide.  It was important to educate children and vulnerable members of the community on how to be safe online and encourage them to report anything that wasn’t right or made them feel uncomfortable.

8.8.       ISCRE: StopWatch, a coalition to promote fair and accountable policing, has reported that many young people do not feel safe, and there was concern that young black people would now be more likely to be subjected to ‘stop and search’.  There was no evidence that an increased use of ‘stop and search’ had any impact on reducing gun/knife crime and it should only be used appropriately and proportionally.
There were no plans by Suffolk Police to increase the use of ‘stop and search’.  Further Police training would be provided, highlighting that the use of ‘stop and search’ should be appropriate.  Suffolk Police want to stop knife crime, but the use of ‘stop and search’ was only a small part of achieving this.

8.9.       Local resident: We called 999 at 8pm on Saturday evening as a young man who jumped our garden gate was being chased by 3 men and was in fear of his life.  We also called 101, but there was no response.  The next morning there was a call from 101 asking if he was still there.
Inspector Pursehouse commented that this response was unacceptable and that he would take the details and follow it up with the centralised call centre at Martlesham.

8.10.    Local resident: Following the meeting on Monday, and the strength of the voice from community members, have Councillors come together to identify what support to put in place to address the concerns raised at that meeting?

The Chair reported that an initial list of action points had been drawn up by the Council in response:

·           The CCTV in the area had been checked and it was working correctly.

·           To hold another public meeting in the week commencing 18 June.

·           To work with Ipswich Boxing Club to find it a more permanent home.

·           To work with parents and schoolchildren to create a new play area.

·           To look at extending CCTV camera coverage in the area.

·           To set up a sports programme to run over the summer months.

·           To work with Suffolk County Council over the future of the Murrayside Community Centre and the provision of more outreach workers.

·           To work with the Principal of Ipswich Academy to identify what help was needed to support schoolchildren.

Mr Williams, Chief Executive, added that the commitments made at Monday’s meeting would be the number one priority for the Council, and that Councillor Ellesmere (Leader of the Council) and Ms Pluck (Chief Operating Officer) would be leading on the delivery of these commitments.


8.11.    Local resident:  There was a lot of mention of support at schools, focusing on local high schools.  My 5-year old son was very aware of the Police presence and felt scared.  Whilst support was being considered for high school children, there has been a ripple effect on primary school children.  What can be done to reassure primary school children?
All of the Head Teachers at local primary schools were contacted by the Police and offered the opportunity for Police Officers to visit their schools to chat with schoolchildren in classes/assemblies.  Some Head Teachers felt this might be a bit too soon, but the offer remained if they wanted to do so later on.  The increased Police presence on the streets might seem scary to young children; however, the Police pod also offered a chance for youngsters to drop in and play with colouring-in books and chat with Police Officers.

8.12.    Local resident: How long will the Police hub be on Queens Way?  Will ASB increase in the area again when it is removed?
The Police pod would not be there indefinitely, but would be for a couple of weeks.  The Police were working with the Council and SCC and other partners on how to provide a long-term presence in the area going forward.  The Police would also welcome any feedback from the community on how long they want the pod to be in the area, as there has been mixed reactions to its presence.  The Police would still have a presence in the area, regardless of whether the pod was there. A new Police Community Engagement Officer had started today and would be holding surgeries in the area.

8.13.    Councillor Harsant thanked Inspector Pursehouse on behalf of the Lindbergh Road PRU, who were very grateful for the Police presence.