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New Ipswich ‘Safer Streets’ funded taxi rank scheme is launched

Safer Streets funding and a successful partnership led by Ipswich Borough Council, has seen a new pilot evening taxi rank scheme launched operating from Duke Street car park at Neptune Quay.

Aimed at making sure Ipswich residents get home safely from the Waterfront area of Ipswich, the new rank will operate between 8pm and 4am daily until March in 2023.

Dedicated safety and taxi marshals will also operate at the new rank on Friday and Saturday evenings from 10pm to 2am over the weekends 16-18 December and 22-24 December, on the evening of 30 to 31 December (not New Year’s Eve) and from January Saturday’s only initially, starting on 7 January 2023 until 31 March 2023.

The Safer Streets project team and partners Ipswich Central, Suffolk Constabulary, the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner and Suffolk County Council are also working with local businesses to boost other public safety initiatives, these include:

  • Free Personal Safety Alarms and drink spiking awareness on nights out

  • Personal safety and confidence classes for community groups

  • ‘Ask for Angela’ promotion at bars and restaurants with VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) reporting encouraged by posters

  • Enhancements to the Barwatch scheme including WAVE (Welfare and Vulnerable Engagement) training and taxi driver awareness training

  • Additional Townlink radios (a system that retailers use to keep in touch with each other and the police)

  • New Body-Worn cameras for door supervisors.

Cllr Alasdair Ross, Ipswich Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said: “Safer Streets funding has allowed us to introduce this taxi rank trial at Ipswich Waterfront and work with businesses to ensure that Ipswich residents and visitors feel safe in our town. We have introduced many improvements to make Ipswich safer working with partners and must thanks to the University of Suffolk for allowing this trial to take place on land under their ownership. We look forward to hearing feedback from taxi marshals and residents once the trial concludes in March 2023.”

Chris Barnard, Head of Place at Ipswich Central, added: "It’s great working in partnership with Ipswich Borough Council to raise awareness and mobilise the Safer Streets funding from Government. We are already receiving positive feedback, and this is just the start of what can be achieved. It is important that people feel safe on a night out in Ipswich, and, are aware of all the initiatives in place to keep them safe. Equally businesses must be aware of what is available to keep them, their staff and customers safe, to help further promote and maintain safe nights out in Ipswich."

In summer 2022, £500,000 was awarded to Ipswich Borough Council by the Home Office from its Safer Streets Fund for use in 2022/23. Working jointly with Suffolk Constabulary, the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Ipswich Central and Suffolk County Council, additional support and in-kind funding totalling £432,000 resulted in a combined investment of £932,000 this year to fund various initiatives to support safer streets around Ipswich. Other measures include events promoting how to report crime, ‘It’s not Acceptable’ marketing, CCTV camera enhancements and lighting improvements.


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