Norfolk Police in happier times at Norwich Pride – photo © The Eye Snapper
Norfolk’s most senior police officer acknowledges that communities in Cromer feel let down by the police response to incidents of disorder at the weekend.
After visiting the town yesterday, Chief Constable Simon Bailey said he has listened to the concerns raised by the community and is under no illusion about the anger, frustration and fear felt by residents, business leaders and visitors.
It follows incidents of anti-social behaviour and disorder in the town over the weekend beginning on Friday.
Mr Bailey said: “Since the incidents in Cromer, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with local people and police officers and yesterday afternoon I went to a surgery and will be attending other events later today and tomorrow.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the people of Cromer feel, angry and frustrated, let down, and fearful. They have told me that they feel angry and frustrated that their concerns were not taken seriously; let down by our response, had feared for their safety and they are frightened it could happen again.
“I want to take this opportunity to address those concerns and reassure the community that I am listening and will continue to listen and a review into our response is already underway. While I do not want to pre-empt the outcome of our investigation, I am sure that there will be lessons we can learn moving forward. We will of course be working closely with our partners, including the local council, and will be taking part in a public meeting planned for early September where further concerns can be addressed.”
Police will be stepping up patrols in Cromer this weekend to provide reassurance to business owners, residents and visitors ahead of the busy Bank Holiday.
Mr Bailey said: “I know this one of the busiest weekends for Cromer and I want to reassure the public that there will be additional officers on duty over the course of the weekend to ensure everyone can have a safe and enjoyable time.”
Officers are continuing to investigate a number of crimes from the weekend and have appealed to anyone with evidence such as CCTV, still images or video footage, to come forward.
Urban communities across Norfolk face continuing problems with anti-social behaviour. A recent Norwich Police campaign targetted street drinkers, beggars and other offenders in Norwich but seems to have had little long term effect. Questions are being raised about the level of Police Officers available following Government funding cuts, with over 21000 less officers on the streets than in 2010 when Theresa May first became Home Secretary.
The Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Canadian-born Conservative Lorne Green, has been publicising the issue of rural crime recently but is expected to face strong criticism when he faces a public accountability meeting in Cromer in September.