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Suffolk Police request railings around tombstones to stop sexual activity and anti-social behaviour in Arras Square

Police have suggested measures to stop “sexual activity” on tombstones as part of a town redevelopment project.

Suffolk Police made the recommendations in a letter responding to plans to redevelop Arras Square in Ipswich.

The area has had high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour, including people using raised tombstones for sexual activity, drugs and alcohol, the force said.

Redevelopment plans will be discussed at a planning meeting on Wednesday.

As part of the council’s “Turning our Town Around” project, residents and business voted for the area, which is home to the redeveloped St Stephen’s Church music venue, to be fully redeveloped.

In a letter, published on Ipswich Borough Council’s planning portal, the force said the area had “typically suffered high levels of crime” and anti-social behaviour.

‘Disrespectful’

“In publicly accessible but secluded locations such as this, it is sadly common to find raised tombstones being used as tables to consume alcohol and drugs,” the letter said. “They are also sometimes the site of sexual activity.”

Police were offering their opinion on ways to “design out crime” at the planning stage of the redevelopment.

This included “protection of raised tombstones” which the force said were “sometimes the site of sexual activity”.

It said it is also common to find raised tombstones being used as tables for alcohol and drugs.

“In a religious setting, this anti-social behaviour is particularly disrespectful. It is more likely that this will occur in the area at the back of the church when the protective railings are removed,” the force said.

It recommended measures to “deter activity on top of the tombstones” including creating enclosures for individual tombstones or small railings at the top edge of the tombstones, as used in other parts of the town.

Other recommendations included removable seating, CCTV and better lighting to prevent anti-social and criminal behaviour.

A spokesman for the force said: “Suffolk Constabulary works to make our streets safer, reduce crime and promote safety for local residents, customers and businesses.

“The role of our Design Out Crime officers is to offer crime prevention advice that can be taken into consideration within areas for development.”

Ipswich Borough Council said it could not comment before the planning meeting.

(Source: BBC)

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