Norfolk’s PCC responds to latest national 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, released yesterday, cover the 12-month period to June 2022 and show that crime in Norfolk increased during this period by 5.3% (65,661 offences to 69,262).
PCC Giles Orpen-Smellie, said: “It is my role to scrutinise and challenge the Chief Constable and senior officers to ensure they provide an effective and efficient service for Norfolk.
“Part of that role is to regularly monitor crime statistics to ensure both I and my office understand any emerging trends or patterns which may prove of concern to Norfolk residents.
“As well as holding regular PCC Accountability Meetings publicly question and challenge the Chief Constable and colleagues for their delivery of policing in Norfolk, scrutiny of such data also allows me to assess to what extent they are meeting objectives set out in my Police, Crime and Community Safety Plan.
"While it is reassuring to see Norfolk has seen a decrease in burglary, stalking and harassment, drug offences and knife crime, we have seen an increase of more than five per cent in overall crime for the 12 months prior to June 2022 and I will be liaising with policing colleagues to better understand the reason for this.
“Sexual offences, violence with injury, possession of weapons, shoplifting and theft have seen some of the biggest rises.
“The rise in sexual offences and violence with and without injury which encompasses offences of domestic abuse may well be down to an increased confidence in victims and survivors to speak out.
“It is crucial that when people take such brave steps, they feel listened to and get the right help and support, which is why my office continues to commission a wide number of support services for victims of crime, to ensure that help and support is always there for those who need it.
“Only last month my office announced it has secured more than £500,000 from the Ministry of Justice to help victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence.”
Speaking at the time, Mr Orpen-Smellie: said: “Now more than ever we need to support victims, especially as some are having to cope with lengthy delays for court proceedings to take place.
“Providing meaningful support to victims is part of my Police and Crime Plan and will continue to be a top priority over the term of my office.”
Earlier this year PCC Giles Orpen-Smellie announced the launch of a county-wide domestic abuse service to offer free, confidential, and non-judgemental support to those affected, and their children, to help them recover and build a new life free from abuse.
The Norfolk Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (NIDAS) 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 £6.6million being invested over the next 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 help towards practical solutions available.
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 30 September 2022.
The figures also reveal while ONS data shows a 14.7% increase in violence with injury offences the latest data to the end of September show a similar rise of 15% for the year to September 2022 – 7,539 to 8,688 offences.
The Policing Measures statistics show a 26% decrease in drug trafficking offences – which could be due to increased proactive policing during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic and the fall in County Lines activity in the county.
Mr Orpen-Smellie, held the police to account at his latest PCC Accountability Meeting earlier this week (Tuesday, 25 October), when much of the focus was on the recent findings highlighted in the Police Effectiveness Efficient and Legitimacy (PEEL) inspection report from His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS).
“I look forward to working with the Chief Constable to discuss the issues outlined in the HMICFRS report for 2021/22 and the latest crime statistics in order to further improve policing for people living, working, and visiting the county,” added Mr Orpen-Smellie.
“I am concerned that, at a time when crime is rising, there is so much pressure on policing budgets. I hope police funding will be protected in the November budget statement - further pressure on budgets could lead to reductions of police capabilities, which would not be welcomed by the public of Norfolk.
“My Police, Crime and Community Safety Plan for Norfolk gives strategic direction for policing in the county. The plan was launched after public and stakeholder consultation with a series of six pillars identified as key areas of focus. My first is to ‘Sustain Norfolk Constabulary’ and this is what I must do."
* 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.