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PCSO's appeal to public after spike in drug crime in town

A Bury St Edmunds PCSO is urging residents to be vigilant to drug crime after a large spike was recorded in the town over the last few months.

Jessica Cullen-McLeod, one of the town’s newly appointed PCSOs, gave the warning after nine drug offences were recorded in January across all wards, 18 in February, 21 in March and eight in April.

PCSO Cullen-McLeod told the annual town meeting, held at Bury St Edmunds Town Council, there could be a number of factors behind the increase, including detection, the reports police receive, the public coming forward and intercepting intelligence.

PCSO Jessica Cullen-McLeod.
PCSO Jessica Cullen-McLeod.

“It’s about having people come forward and giving us the right information we require,” she said. “Our aim is to make sure Bury and the surrounding areas are safe for everyone, (and deal with) anything that causes the public an issue or is a great concern.”

PSCO Cullen-McLeod took up the role, which is fully funded by Bury St Edmunds Town Council, in March along with ex-police constable Mark Ellis.

At last week’s meeting, PCSO Cullen-McLeod said: “Reports can come from yourselves –people may not see that we’re doing anything but we are.”

With an increase in the problem of county lines, where large drug gangs from bigger cities expand their operations to smaller towns or villages, PCSO Cullen-McLeod said drug crime was still prevalent.

She said: “If people have got concerns about specific areas, people’s houses, comings and goings, we welcome people coming forward. Unless we intercept it and see it, it is best for people to tell us. This can obviously be done anonymously if people are worried about that.

“We do a lot of research behind the scenes. Just because the figures are low, we’ll still be continuing. It’s always ongoing, and the statistics obviously reflect this.”

Statistics from May have not yet been released.

Incidents of PVP or Protecting Vulnerable People were also notably high in the town. This is protecting people who have mental health issues, are homeless or anyone who needs to be referred for extra support.

In January 61 reports of PVP were recorded across all of the wards, with 45 in February, 53 in March and 59 in April.

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