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Suffolk Police praised for ending reign of ‘Bungay Mafia’

Community leaders have praised Suffolk officers for tackling anti-social behaviour involving youths dubbed ‘the Bungay Mafia’.

More patrols and a new inspector have helped successfully tackle a problem of anti-social behaviour in the Suffolk village of Bungay which was attracting newspaper headlines and the attention of an MP.  

Residents in the rural village had threatened to start vigilante patrols after a run of incidents including criminal damage and assaults.

Problems began when a local skate park was vandalised last year and quickly spiralled with assaults and car vandalism. Matters came to a head when local MP Peter Aldous got involved, asking the force’s chief constable to take action.

Part of the problem was the response time to incidents because patrols were based in Lowestoft which is 35 minutes away.

Town clerk Jeremy Burton told Police Oracle: “it was getting progressively worse. Townspeople had got to the stage where they were talking about taking vigilante action. We decided we didn’t want that.”

The solution has included officers using the town council’s office as a base, increasing the police presence and assigning a new inspector.  

Mr Burton said the changes are already yielding results: “Credit where credit’s due. We’ve had a significant improvement in the police presence in the town. They know who the people are who were responsible and that seems to have brought a stop to it. People have been remarking on how the police have been visible.”

He added: “The police aren’t not resting on their laurels. A lot of crimes weren’t being reported because people feared reprisals. I think we’ve broken that barrier too.”

Suffolk Police pledged to continue their efforts to improve community safety.

Inspector Nick Aitken of Suffolk Police said: “It is very satisfying to see that all the positive and proactive work that has taken place in recent weeks is starting to pay off.

“We have three dedicated officers who conduct visible, regular patrols of the town, as well as plain clothed based. We will continue to engage with the local community to gather further information, intelligence regarding ASB, and this will continue.

He added: “While it is positive, we can assure you that we will not be resting on our laurels and such crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Bungay remains a policing priority for the local Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT). Together with our partners and partner agencies, we will continue to target those who choose to engage in criminality and ASB.”

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