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  1. ITV Report

More action to tackle violence and drugs in Ipswich

  • Click below to watch a video report by ITV News Anglia's Hannah Pettifier

Around 150 people packed into a public meeting last night in Ipswich to hear what is being done about knife crime in the town.

Suffolk Police were detailing the series of measures they've put in place to tackle the problem, after the murder of a Tavis Spencer-Aitkens earlier this month.

150 people attend meeting after teenager's death Credit: ITV Anglia

It's the second meeting to be held following the teenager's murder.

There was a passionate speech from Ossie Thompson, a cousin of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens

"I really think, as a close family member, we're only here because of what's happened. We wouldn't be talking about community youth clubs, this that and the other. We need to get to the bottom of what we're hear for. We're here about drugs. That is the problem."

– Ossie Thompson, a cousin of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens
Ossie Thompson, a cousin of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens Credit: ITV Anglia

During the meeting a number of parents raised concerns about what activities would be available during the summer holidays.

It was announced that the Murrayside centre would be opened for community use and would get cash for renovation. Work will start later in the year.

"There's a youth gangs prevention team that has been put into place, which is a team of police officers specifically focusing on this area of drugs and gangs activity. There is a community house that the police are going to be based at within the Nacton road area, and there are two community engagement officers and their sole purpose is to engage with the local community, listen to them, so that we've got that ongoing dialogue."

– Rachel Kearton, Assistant Chief Constable, Suffolk Police
Rachel Kearton, Assistant Chief Constable, Suffolk Police Credit: ITV Anglia

Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said the police force was committing vast resources to tackle drug activity in the area, but has also warned that police action alone isn't going to be the answer

150 people attend meeting after teenager's death Credit: ITV Anglia

"We're not going to be able to police our way out of this problem, it's about communities coming together, parents taking responsibility, we have an opportunity now to draw a line in the sand."

– Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore

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