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Ipswich killing: Leaders outline progress on community action

Published12th June 2018

Political leaders have met in Ipswich to review progress made following a community meeting held after the death of Nacton teenager Tavis Spencer-Aitkens.

Around 300 people attended the meeting at Nansen Road Baptist Church last Monday and the progress made since then includes:

  • Ensuring that the Murrayside Centre will not be demolished and developing plans to work with local people and community groups to give it a new lease of life as a valuable community resource;
  • Leaving street lights on all night in the area around Queensway - they will remain lit for as long as required and will not be switched off without consulting local people;
  • Confirming that the CCTV camera on Queensway is working and making arrangements for a new CCTV camera for the St Augustine’s recreation ground;
  • Setting up a meeting for interested residents about a proposed community garden. This will be held this Wednesday (13th June) at St Augustine’s recreation ground;
  • Helping the Ipswich Boxing Club to secure its new base at Altitude Business Park off Nacton Road;
  • Making funded places available to local people on the Principles of Youth Work course;
  • Allocating youth workers to the area;
  • Raising the issue of knife crime and the killing of Tavis at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons. Ipswich MP Sandy Martin is seeking a date to meet the Home Secretary and a group of young people from Ipswich;
  • Agreement for a long-term commitment for grant-funding schemes to help local projects.

Meanwhile, Police continue to maintain a strong presence in the local area as part of the on-going work to reassure the public. This is through the continued use of theYouth Gang Prevention Team, and a police pod remaining at Packard Avenue. In addition, a mobile police station is visiting various locations across the town during June, as well as officers continuing to conduct extra patrols in the vicinity of the attack and across Ipswich. Officers are also maintaining an ongoing dialogue with community leaders to address the concerns of people living and working in the area.

The date of a follow-up community meeting has been confirmed. It will be held on Thursday 21st June at 7pm – at a venue to be confirmed.

This meeting will focus on how the MP, Police & Crime Commissioner, Suffolk Police, Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council have responded to calls for action from local people. It will also outline next steps, including opportunities for residents to work more closely with the Police and both councils to improve the area, access funding and ensure that local people’s voices are heard.

Yesterday’s meeting was attended by

  • Sandy Martin MP
  • Councillor Matthew Hicks, Leader of Suffolk County Council
  • Tim Passmore, Police & Crime Commissioner
  • Councillor David Ellesmere, Leader of Ipswich Borough Council
  • Councillor Paul West, Suffolk County Council Cabinet member for Ipswich
  • Senior Officers from the Police, County Council and Borough Council