Police warn residents not to be complacent

MORETON HALL file shots''Pictured; Community Centre and Post Office
MORETON HALL file shots''Pictured; Community Centre and Post Office
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Moreton Hall is a safe, low crime area but that is making residents complacent, a police 
representative warned on 

Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Moreton Hall Residents’ Association, PCSO Tim Hartup told people on the estate to think more wisely about the security of their homes.

He said: “You’re lucky because you live in a low crime, safe area but because of that you suffer from complacency.

“Think about your home security. Think about your shed, your garage, your car.”

Mr Hartup said a total of 198 crimes had been reported on Moreton Hall since March, consisting largely of theft from vehicles and burglaries of sheds and garages.

He told the meeting that six vans had been targeted because of tools left inside and a number of sheds and garages for items like lawn mowers, strimmers and tools, all of which could be easily sold at car boot sales or on the internet.

“There have been one too many burglaries of dwellings since March, only one but that’s one too many, and that did involve the insecurity of a patio door,” added Mr Hartup.

He said anti-social behaviour in the areas around the shops in Lawson Place, the community centre and the play area in Daisy Avenue were mostly connected to young people and that two adults had been prosecuted for buying alcohol on their behalf.

Asked about the prevalence of Neighbourhood Watch schemes, Mr Hartup said Police Direct’s free messaging service had proved so successful that schemes had ‘dipped slightly’.

One resident said: “I heard that we’re getting youths from other estates, is that true?”

Mr Hartup said: “It is true and I have asked them why and the answer I’ve got is because there’s more girls up here. “There’s also a lot of nice open spaces but the answer is they’re coming here for the girls.”

Representatives from developers Taylor Wimpey and Berkeley and Cllr Jane Storey, the deputy leader of Suffolk County Council, also spoke at the meeting.

Cllr Storey agreed that a good way to tackle discussions on traffic problems in and around the estate would be to set up a joint working party with the residents’ association and the county council.

“I can’t see any reason why that shouldn’t happen. I think that’s a very good way of working so I’ll ask our local highways team to get in touch,” she said.

Following concerns over the location of a secondary school on the estate, Neil Osborn, on behalf of Taylor Wimpey, said an offer had been made for some land at Rougham Airfield.

He said: “We’ve made a formal written offer of land to the educational authority to allow that school to get under way as soon as possible. We want a school to be provided in Moreton Hall, we think it’s vital for the community.”