Police tanks save posh resorts from commoners

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Police tank

By Rob Banks, Crime Editor

Suffolk Police have taken delivery of two fearsome battle tanks to help keep the working classes away from the county’s elite holiday resorts.

The Challenger 2 tanks will be stationed on the approaches to Aldeburgh and Southwold from this weekend, ensuring only the “right sort” of visitors get through to enjoy the towns.

Each tank is equipped with a 120-millimetre main gun capable of firing high explosive and armour-piercing shells, while gunners can also make use of a chain gun and machine gun on board.

Senior officers hope the vehicles, which each have 4,200 rounds available, will deter inquisitive poor people from travelling to the jewels on the Suffolk coast.

A spokesman told the Suffolk Gazette: “In recent years there have been issues with an unruly working class element visiting Aldeburgh and Southwold.

“They do not speak with the correct accent, don’t read the right newspaper – and some don’t even like opera.

“Clearly the locals, and those with loads of money, would rather keep them away, and so we need to take appropriate action to make sure they don’t get through.”


Police have been training two of their patrol car drivers to operate the tanks, which are on loan from the British Army for six months until the holiday season is over.

They have been on exercise in Tunstall Forest, with only a couple of minor mishaps involving a bird-watching hide and three hikers.

The police spokesman explained: “There were one or two teething problems while our drivers got used to the controls. One of the tanks took a wrong turn and ploughed straight into a bird-watching hide in the forest, while another hit three hikers when the driver forgot where the brake was.

“However, nobody was seriously hurt and the drivers have now got the hang of everything.”

He said the tanks would be taking up positions from next Monday.

But last night there was a furious reaction when the Suffolk Gazette broke the news to some residents. Cynthia Jones, who lives in Alderton, said: “I like to visit Aldeburgh, but although I am quite wealthy, I drive an older car. Will this tank just turn its gun on me, assuming I am a poor person?

“There will be a terrible accident within hours, and it will ruin Suffolk’s tourist industry.”

Others warned Suffolk Police could end up with egg on their faces, just as they did when their Apache gunship helicopter accidentally blew up a vicarage in Needham Market.

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  1. Toby Shaw

    June 16, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I am appalled. This is quite beyond the Pale and I’ve had enough of you and your St Audrey organ. Jewels is spelled with one L not two, Shirley.

  2. Kate

    June 16, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Jolly good show. Ordinary people cause the queues at the fish and chip shop in Aldeburgh. They should be eating their burgery type nourishment in Lowestoft.
    Mrs Sneer-Nose,
    Second Home,
    Farrow and Ball Lane,

  3. Lyn-p-loo

    May 30, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Aldeburgh! Southwold! Who in their right mind would want to go to either, at least until one of these quaint towns gives permission for Aldi or Wetherspoon to open a branch. I’m no snob but ….

  4. Major John L Raybould TD VR

    May 22, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Reference Australians (your comment to Tim Aussie: ‘I’m not entirely sure Australians are allowed in Suffolk full stop, let alone Southwold and Aldeburgh. I believe only the safe return of The Ashes will allow entry.’) thank goodness my passports showing several Oz Entry and Exit stamps have expired and my slight Antipodean twang disappeared long ago!
    Yours aye,

  5. Duncan gibbons

    May 19, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Will I get into trouble with the powers that be , because my girlfriend’s name is Southwold, and I am very common?

  6. Tim Aussie from WA

    May 19, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Never had any trouble entering Southwold but I did miss the turning once in the dark having driven all night from Heathrow.I guess the residents could not understand the Aussie accent anyway and let me in!

    • The Editor

      May 22, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Dear Tim Aussie

      Thanks for your comment, but I’m not entirely sure Australians are allowed in Suffolk full stop, let alone Southwold and Aldeburgh. I believe only the safe return of The Ashes will allow entry.

      The Editor

  7. Rear Admiral Cyril Ponsonby-Smythe RN (retired)

    May 15, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Dear Editor,

    What a jolly wheeze – spot on!

    It’s getting a damn disgrace when I can’t take my little Willie out without some ignorant out of town peasant shooting at it with an air rifle, mistaking it for a hairy rat.

    It’s a well-know fact that my Little Willie has the right to be exercised freely while I take the air along the waters edge, but getting rude comments and vile suggestions are beyond the pale.

    The sooner these tanks are in operation the better, keeping out the riff-raff, thus allowing my little Willie to safely pop it’s little head up whenever it gets excited!

    Your as ever

    PS: Love from little Willie, my sweet little Affenpinscher!

    • The Editor

      May 22, 2015 at 8:28 am

      Dear Rear Admiral

      I am, as ever, keen to have the best interests of your Willie at heart.

      The Editor

  8. Major (Retired) John L Raybould TD VR

    May 14, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    It seems that I will need to travel to Southwold this summer in a suit, Suffolk Regimental tie, carrying a copy of the Times and a rolled umbrella. Also, I need to purchase a bowler hat.

    • The Editor

      May 14, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      Dear Major

      You sound like just the sort of chap they are looking for!

      The Editor

      • Major (Retired) John L Raybould TD VR

        May 14, 2015 at 3:30 pm

        Many thanks for your observation: ‘You sound like just the sort of chap they are looking for!’
        An alternative is I could wear my Service Dress with sword (but may get arrested!) or Mess Kit mit spurs!
        Keep up the good work – just hilarious!

  9. Haircut 100

    May 14, 2015 at 9:19 am


    Is it a coincidence that these tanks should show up at Aldeburgh and Southwold just weeks after your fine newspaper revealed Kim Jong-Un had bought a caravan at nearby Sizewell?

    Here is your story, in case you had forgotten already…

    I think we should be told.

    • The Editor

      May 14, 2015 at 9:23 am

      Dear Haircut

      I have made discreet inquiries with my North Korean contacts, while my Crime Editor Rob Banks has done the same with his police sources.

      As a result, I can exclusively reveal the appearance of the tanks just down the road from where young Kim is taking his holidays is a pure coincidence.

      If you live nearby, please do send us any photos you get of Kim enjoying one of his breaks on the Suffolk coast; we’d be delighted to publish them.

      The Editor

  10. Wayne Kerr

    May 14, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Bloody toffs. If I got more benefits I would pay my taxes and should be entitled to go on Aldeburgh beach if I want.

    • The Editor

      May 14, 2015 at 9:17 am

      Dear Mr Wayne Kerr

      I’m not entirely convinced that is your real name. Regardless, may I suggest you try Felixstowe beach instead?

      The Editor

      • T batchelor

        June 18, 2017 at 5:36 pm

        I don’t think you will ever see Aldi Lidl or wetherspoons in southwold they are to snobbish for them they would rather rip you off

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