Advice ahead of Latitude 2018

As Latitude 2018 approaches, police are urging festival-goers to think about their safety and the security of their possessions ahead of their arrival on the site.

The music and arts festival takes place between Thursday 12 and Sunday 15 July this year and police are asking those visiting to plan ahead to ensure they enjoy the event.

The number of people attending the event each year means Latitude has a population equivalent to the size of a small town and, with the setting, the chance to see a variety of acts, and a relaxed atmosphere it can be easy to forget about safety and security, however this can make it attractive to those keen to take advantage of visitors lowering their guard.

The vast majority of reported incidents last year were theft related and officers are keen to ensure crime is kept to a minimum at this year’s event.

The main crime at music festivals across the UK tends to be thefts from tents on campsites. In previous years there have been a number of such offences, many on the first night of the festival when it’s likely that criminals target tents on the assumption that those camping are settling in, have not made plans for their security and may have withdrawn cash to see them through the weekend.

Other thefts have occurred while festival-goers had their attention diverted while they were watching performances. This included instances where people had camera equipment stolen from near their feet, thefts from bags that were being carried and items stolen from pockets.

You should also bear in mind your personal safety.  Meeting new people can be a fun part of the festival experience but going off alone with someone you’ve just met, particularly if alcohol is also involved, can also make you vulnerable.

With this in mind, police are asking you to think about security before you head to the site and to consider a few simple pieces of advice that should help to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time.

Detective Superintendent David Cutler said: “The festival has become a well established fixture on the Suffolk calendar and, as such, we want everyone to enjoy it.

“We urge everyone attending to be mindful of the security of their valuables as there will be a very small minority who will look to exploit those who have their guard down.

“Have fun at the festival, but stay vigilant, be aware of your surroundings and stay safe. If you have any concerns, please approach one of our officers or a member of the event staff who will be happy to help.”

PCC Tim Passmore said: “Latitude shines a fantastic spotlight on our beautiful county, attracting more and more visitors each year and the impact this has on the local economy is hugely important.

“As with any large event of this nature, there is always a danger that visitors enjoying themselves forget basic crime prevention and make themselves vulnerable to crime.

“I would encourage festival-goers to take care of themselves, look out for friends and be aware of what’s going on around them.   If you can avoid it, don’t take anything of value with you, keep your valuables safe, enjoy the festival and make sure your memoires of Latitude 2018 are all happy ones.”

Stick with your friends and look out for each other.

Moderate your alcohol consumption. Overdo it and you’ll be less aware and less likely to spot dangers.  Have a glass of water between drinks and pace yourself.

Be careful. Festivals give you the opportunity to meet new friends but going off alone with people who you’ve just met may lead you into situations you don’t want to be in.

Remember no means no. Too much alcohol and the heat of the moment can lead to issues of consent. Don’t take advantage of situations that are alcohol-fuelled or the consequences could be arrest, a court appearance and a prison term.

There is safety in groups. Set up camp near friends, make friends with your neighbours and learn the layout of the site so you can find what you need – toilets/ stewards, etc, without getting lost. You can always ask staff for help with directions or anything else you may need.

Don’t bring large sums of cash, lots of credit/ debit cards, or lots of valuables with you. Only bring what you need and keep them on you, or in a locker, at all times. There are cash points on site so you can withdraw money as you need it.

If you can’t take your valuables with you when you leave your tent leave them at home. A tent offers little, if any, security and can easily be entered even if the entrance is padlocked.

Make use of the property Storage Tent onsite, open 24 hours, to store your valuables and possessions securely.

Place any property that would be attractive to thieves (cash, credit cards, mobile phones, cameras, etc) inside a bag and tuck it into your sleeping bag when you go to sleep.

Make a note of card numbers, and the number to call if they are stolen or mislaid, and postcode mark the property you bring to Latitude so that it is identifiable.

If you arrive by car don’t leave anything in your vehicle, including satellite navigation systems/ CDs, cash etc. Take everything with you or leave it at home.

Be mindful of the activities of people around you when watching performances. Bags with shoulder straps should be worn across your chest, with the fastening towards your body. Rucksacks should be kept closed and not left unattended.

Keep mobile phones secure. It’s easy for a pickpocket to remove items such as these from a pocket or bag in a crowd without you noticing.

Use the lockers provided in the village.

You are asked to report any suspicious activity to security or stewards on site or, in an emergency, if you believe a crime is in progress, dial 999.

Police are also reminding motorists that there may be some delays on the A12 near Henham as thousands of festival goers flock to the site, so be prepared for slow-moving traffic along the A12, particularly between Yoxford and the site.

Police are advising drivers to leave extra time for your journey and if you can avoid the area please do so. If you’re heading to the site you may also wish to consider public transport options, as buses are laid on from local railway stations to the site.

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Burglary – Kerry Ave Ipswich

Police are appealing for information following a burglary at a home in Ipswich in the early hours of yesterday morning, Monday 9th July.

The home in Kerry Avenue was entered via an insecure window sometime between 12am & 3.30am. Once inside a black & green VooDoo Bantu mountain bike was stolen together with cigarettes, alcohol and the keys to three vehicles.

If you have any information about this burglary please contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting crime reference 37/38044/18 or use the online reporting link –http://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something.

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Happy Birthday NHS

 

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Stop and Search

Stop and Search, my history with this is not wholly unique to black people growing up in the UK.

I had been subjected to it many times and me and my friends knew the reason was because of our appearance. It even became a running joke. But it ceased being funny when as an adult as a parent I saw the effect Stop and Search done wrong had on my then teenage son.
A police officer has powers to ‘Stop and Search’ you if they have ‘Reasonable grounds’ to suspect you’re carrying
          • Illegal drugs
          • A weapon
          • Stolen property
          • Something which could be used to commit a crime  (i.e crowbar)
You can only be ‘Stopped and Searched’ without reasonable grounds if it has been approved by a senior police officer. This can happen if it is suspected that:
            • Serious violence could take place
            • You’re carrying a weapon or  have used one
            • You’re in a specific location
            • if a terrorist threat has been  identified
This is all regulated by Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984  (PACE) and the Reasonable Grounds to suspect still stands out in my mind from my time as a Special Constable
While ‘Reasonable Grounds’ is somewhat subjective and varies depending on the situation there is guidance that sets out some broad rules
1) Needs an objective basis for specific suspicion based on facts or intelligence “normally” this has to be accurate and current, or
 2) Should be based on the observed behaviour of a person
3) Cannot be based on personal factors, only on intelligence about or specific behaviour by the person in question  (So physical appearance can’t be used)
4) cannot be based on generalisations or stereotypes about certain groups of people being more likely to engage in criminal activity
As I said at the beginning of this piece Stop and Search was something I was familier with, as a student me and my friends who all of us were not involved in any criminality often faced being stopped and it became a running joke. But it did get to us and at times we felt frustration and resentment although we tried to laugh it off
As an adult my experience of being stopped became far less frequent although I had an incident in Belgium where I was informed this was due to me looking “Moroccan” rather than “English” and an incident in New York where I was separated by my white traveling companions at gun point and Searched
But what really hit home was my son’s experience, it was just before his 17th birthday and he was looking for ideas for gifts. In the store my son was stopped by two uniformed officers, one plain clothed and an extremely aggressive security guard. My son was humiliated in front of customers and was frankly terrified by the experience.
My son had done nothing wrong and while vindicated after the search the whole experience did effect him. I had always told my son that he had nothing to fear if he’d done nothing wrong. But those words rang hollow as he was being publicly humiliated and had done nothing wrong.
I understand that Stop and Search when done right and intelligence lead is a useful tool. But the relationship between higher rates of Stop and Search and any lower rates of crime are inconsistent at best.
Stop and Search used correctly could be used as part of a broader strategy but I feel that some police and members of the public don’t understand the impact that Stop and Search can have on the lives of young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
I am pleased that Suffolk Police are working with ISCRE and an Independent Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel which provides oversight but more needs to be done.
In Suffolk you are four times as likely to be stopped if you are black and minority ethnic than if you are white. But those stats also show that the number of people for whom no further action was taken is significantly higher for black people than white people.
Which means proportionately more innocent black people are being stopped in Suffolk.
When a young innocent black person is stopped and searched and they go back to their family, their community and speak about what happened the older generation is reminded of the bad old days and what they experienced. On the surface it looks like nothing had changed. They feel because it disproportionately affects a minority no action will be taken.
But getting this wrong leads to resentment, anger and a loss of trust in the police
Suffolk Police have come a long way but more needs to be done to reassure communities, educate the public and build trust
The next Community Stop and Search reference group meeting is on july 25 6pm at:
                ISCRE
          46 St Matthews St
                 Ipswich
                 IP1 3EP
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Whitehouse Primary School – Relocation of Sunbeam Preschool Playgroup

Suffolk County Council is consulting on a proposal to relocate the Sunbeam Preschool within Whitehouse Primary School grounds. The new accommodation will include a detached building at the Ulster Avenue side of the school with dedicated access. The existing Preschool area will then be adapted to classrooms for school use along with the addition of an adjacent new classroom.

The Pre-application Planning Consultation period is from 25th June – 6th  July 2018

You are able to view plans of the proposed developments, complete an online comment form or download a comment form at http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/consultations from Monday 25th June. Please note information will not be available to view online and comment forms cannot be accessed until the consultation start date.

Suffolk County Council  will be holding a drop-in session at the school on Tuesday 26th June, from 3.30 – 6.30pm. Plans will be available for you to view in the Marlow Road Hall (that used as a polling station) and officers will also be able to answer any questions you may have. Plans will also be available for you to view at the school during normal school hours until Friday 6th July. Please ask at Reception.

This non-statutory pre-application planning consultation will enable us to gather the views of parents, local residents and potential building users prior to the submission of the planning application and does not affect the right to comment on the proposals during the statutory planning consultation process

Completed comment forms must be returned to the Schools Infrastructure Team, Suffolk County Council, Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX by 9
th July. You can also comment online at http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/consultations or by email to schools@suffolk.gov.uk.

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Research to understand victims’ experiences of Hate Crime

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NatCen Social Research would like your help for important research to enhance understanding of victims’ experiences of hate crime. The research seeks to explore people’s direct experiences of hate crime, including motivations for and barriers to reporting, and related interactions with the police and support organisations. Our findings will inform recommendations to improve how hate crime is handled in policy and practice.

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NatCen is an independent, not-for-profit organisation with almost 50 years’ experience of producing evidence to inform government, public services, charities, and other organisations working to address society’s challenges. This study was commissioned by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, who independently assess the effectiveness and efficiency of police, fire and rescue services in England and Wales.

They would like to talk to anyone who has been a victim of any type of hate crime or hate-related incident in England or Wales from January 2017. They would really appreciate your help to find individuals who might wish to take part in a research interview in the next few weeks. For more information about this research and next steps, please get in touch on Freephone 0808 169 1224 or interview@natcen.ac.uk.

The sort of things they will ask about during the interview are:

  • A bit about your background and daily life
  • Your experience(s) of hate crime
  • Your views about reporting the crime to the police
  • Any help and support you may have received throughout this process.

 

Each interview will take around 60 minutes and can take place over the phone or face-to-face. Taking part is completely voluntary, and you are free to change your mind at any time. NatCen will write a report about the issues you and others speak about in the interviews, but they will not use your name and any details that could identify you in any way. Everyone who participates in the research will receive £20 to thank them for their time. If you are interested in taking part or would like further information, contact: interview@natcen.ac.uk or Freephone 0808 169 1224.

 

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