Norfolk PCC responds to the latest crime statistics
Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has responded to the latest release of crime statistics data for all forces in England and Wales from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The statistics, published yesterday, Thursday 20 July, cover the twelve-month period to March 2023 and show crime in Norfolk has fallen during this period by 2.9% (69,188 offences to 67,185).
Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Giles Orpen-Smellie, said: “I am pleased to learn that overall crime in the county is down by 2.9%. However, there is no room for complacency, especially when one looks at the breakdown of overall crime into specific crime types and note that the figures in some crime types continue to rise.
“In particular, the possession of weapons has risen significantly to over 32%. I will be asking the Chief Constable why that is and whether it is because detection rates have improved. With knife crime down by nearly 10%, it would be useful to know whether this is a real increase in possession of weapons or just a matter of improved recording.
“Another area of continual concern is the rise in sexual offences, up by 2.8% to 3,304 cases. These are horrible offences but I am aware that some of those being reported are historic offences. The tragic murder of Sarah Everard in March 2021, and other high profile cases involving the targeting of women and girls, have served to highlight the risks that sadly exist for women and girls in our society today. Again, it would be good to know whether this is due to an increase in confidence by victims to report these offences and increased awareness of local services.
“Since January 2023, Norfolk Constabulary has been involved in the response to the Serious Violence Duty. This is a partnership approach with councils and local services to share information and target interventions to prevent and reduce serious violence. The secretariat for the Serious Violence Duty is now embedded in my office so that we can better coordinate activity with the police and other partners on the ground. I look forward to seeing how this will support our existing services going forward.
“I am pleased to see that intrusive crimes such as residential burglary and violence against the person have fallen by 5.2% and 5.5% respectively. In fact, Norfolk has the lowest residential burglary rate in the country, which is obviously good news for Norfolk residents.
“We also continue to tackle other forms of crime such as domestic abuse which accounts for over a fifth of all reported crime in Norfolk. There is increasing confidence among victims to report offences and their increased awareness of local services like NIDAS.
The Norfolk Integrated Domestic Abuse Service is funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, Norfolk County Council, Norwich City Council, South Norfolk and Broadland District Councils, with £6.6 million being invested over five years. It is the first system of its kind in the county, offering a fully integrated service, making intensive one-to-one support a multi-agency response and making practical solutions more available to vulnerable people.
The release of the ONS data comes as the PCC publishes Norfolk Constabulary’s *National Crime and Policing Measures statistics for the 12 months up to March 2023.
Data from the National Crime and Policing Measures highlighted that drug trafficking offences in Norfolk showed a 10% decrease, with cases falling from 457 for 410.
County Lines is where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another, often across police and local authority boundaries, usually by children and vulnerable people who are coerced into it by gangs. The ‘County Line’ is the mobile phone line used to take the orders of drugs.
Between October and December 2022, eight County Lines have been closed, with charges being laid in all cases and guilty pleas already entered in three of those, due to the strength of the evidence.
The constabulary continues to proactively identify and target lines in the county and take every opportunity to disrupt and dismantle the organised crime networks behind them.
Mr Orpen-Smellie added: “Something we must not lose sight of is the preventative work that is being done across the county to stop impressionable and vulnerable young people entering the world of crime and joining gangs linked to County Lines. Thanks to partnership working with the Norfolk Youth Justice Board, we are seeing a reduction in the number of young people between the ages of 10 and 17 entering the criminal justice system. It is essential that we continue early interventions and provide preventative approaches to sustain this change.”
* The Home Office has developed National Crime and Policing Outcomes under six priority areas which have accompanying measures to help focus effort on key national priorities and measure performance. As part of the Specified Information Order every Police and Crime Commissioner is legally required to publish performance on these measures.