“The recent article on the topic of crime in the EADT ( by the newly-elected MP for Ipswich is at best disappointing and at worst an ill-judged piece of dogwhistling.

Tom Hunt refers to ‘certain communities’ and the need for ‘action….based on the facts as we see them’, in relation to crime in our county town. Yet, his article is entirely evidence-free, which raises all sorts of uncomfortable questions about his purpose in writing it.

Over the decades, ISCRE has enjoyed really strong relationships with MPs from both the major parties as we have shared a common purpose in working tirelessly – usually with great success – in fostering cohesion and mutual respect across our communities.

We believe that the people of Ipswich are way better than how Mr. Hunt portrays them. He seems to have rather shot from the hip on this issue and misjudged us without making real effort to understand the town and its communities first. A Member of Parliament represents the whole community and his efforts should be geared towards bringing people together.

Mr Hunt’s comments come a few days after a report showing an increase in hate crimes reported in Suffolk. There is nothing wrong with pointing out legitimate concerns about immigration but the MP needs to shoulder his responsibility to all his constituents.

We invite him to meet with us and the people we are working with from diverse communities so he has a better understanding of the issues we are tackling, including our collaboration with Suffolk Police via the Stop and Search Reference Group and Rules of Engagement.

The best way to tackle crime is to invest in our communities, courts, the CPS, Legal Aid etc. and not pit communities against each other.”