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7 December 2012, 06:00
Heart's being told that shoplifting and anti-social behaviour in Ipswich has gone down since the Town Safe Team started a year ago.
A year on from its launch, the Town Safe Team in Ipswich is making a huge improvement to the town, with crime figures falling and community problems decreasing.
The multi-agency team began its work at the end of November 2011, with the aim of helping to reduce crime and fear of crime affecting people living, working and visiting the town. This includes street drinking, anti-social behaviour, theft of pedal cycles and shoplifting. The dedicated team provide high-visibility foot patrols around the town, providing reassurance and responding to incidents as they happen.
Figures released today highlight the huge impact the team has had and the fantastic changes being made to community life in Ipswich.
Acting Chief Inspector Andrew Mason, who manages the Town Safe Team, said: "The results are extremely positive and the team is taking pride in achieving such good results. We will be continuing to work closely with the Ipswich Street Rangers, Ipswich Borough Council Licensing Team, store detectives, retailers and other partners to address further issues as they arise.
"Through continued partnership working and problem solving techniques I am sure that the team will be able to further reduce shoplifting and anti-social behaviour in the town."
During the past twelve months, over 410 arrests have been made by the team, which have resulted in custodial sentences and fines being issued. This has led to a reduction in shoplifting offences, which have decreased by 129 incidents (compared to December to November the previous year.) It also marks the first decrease in shoplifting figures since 2007. The high-visibility approach of the team also acts as a deterrent to potential offenders, preventing further offences from occurring.
Incidents of anti-social behaviour in the town centre have also reduced by 42.4% (comparing 1 December 2011 to 1 December 2012 against the previous year) through the use of Section 27 Notices and alcohol seizures. Between 1 December 2011 and 1 December 2012, a total of 218 Section 27 Notices have been issued to street drinkers, directing an individual to leave a specified area and not return for up to 48 hours. For the same twelve month period there have been a total of 414 seizures of alcohol under the Designated Public Place Order, requiring an individual to stop drinking and their alcohol to be seized and disposed of.