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Anti-social behaviour, theft, rural crime and speeding were some of the issues raised at a policing and crime Q&A hosted by Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in King’s Lynn yesterday.
The event, which gave local residents the opportunity to put their questions to the PCC and the county’s Chief Constable, Simon Bailey, was the third of its kind this year, with visits to Norwich and Diss already having taken place.
The Q&As are part of the PCC’s ongoing pledge to give the public access to the county’s senior officers while ensuring he and the wider police service are visible, accessible and accountable to all.
The Town Hall was the venue for the event, which provided attendees with an update on local policing activity and priorities before inviting their questions.
Giving an overview of the work of the district policing teams, Inspector Rob Button said that, while anti-social behaviour was a concern for residents, robust action from policing teams working with partners had resulted in a 34% decrease over the last five years. He urged West Norfolk communities to continue to report anti-social behaviour to help identify patterns in where and when it was taking place.
Inspector Button also said that, in line with the national picture, crime levels had increased but that the King’s Lynn area was seeing the benefit of an increase in officer numbers, the introduction of beat managers and investment in dedicated teams such as those targeting rural crime.
Those attending the Q&A were keen to share their own experiences, whether of being a victim of crime, reporting concerns and incidents to the police or accessing victim support. Representatives of the borough council and local services also brought along questions and issues on behalf of community groups.
As well as outlining what Norfolk Constabulary was doing to address the concerns raised, Chief Constable Simon Bailey and the local policing team talked about their work with partner agencies to address issues related to highways and the night-time economy.
Staying on the subject of partnership working, the Chief Constable also spoke of the Force’s commitment to working with other agencies to disrupt county lines drug crime and associated violence saying that, while much of the police activity was unseen by the Norfolk public, the fact that gangs are now finding it very difficult to operate here is proof their approach is working.