Norfolk’s PCC responds to the latest release of crime statistics data
Norfolk’s Police and Crime 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 cover the 12-month period to September 2022 and show crime in Norfolk increased during this period by 4.8% (66,030 offences to 69,208).
PCC, Giles Orpen-Smellie, said: “As your PCC, it is my role to scrutinise and challenge Norfolk’s Chief Constable and his senior officers to ensure they provide an effective and efficient service for residents of the county.”
“On Tuesday (31 January), I will be holding my regular PCC Accountability Meeting publicly to question and challenge the Chief Constable and colleagues about their delivery of policing in Norfolk. This data allows me to assess how, and to what extent, the Chief Constable and his colleagues are meeting the objectives set out in my Police, Crime and Community Safety Plan.
“As we moved into a post pandemic world, it was not unforeseen to see the level of overall crime rise; however, it does not mean that we can dismiss a 4.8% increase up to September 2022.
“In particular, I will be asking why there has been such a steep rise in possession of weapons offences. While I understand that this is the first time we have seen an increase in the last three years with Norfolk still below national levels, it is of great concern that there has been a 51% increase in this type of crime. An 18% rise in theft offences also needs to be assessed.
“What is encouraging to see is that drug offences are down by over 15%. Drug trafficking activity can be linked to wider County Lines activity and Norfolk Constabulary has been proactive in disrupting and reducing the number of active lines into the county, tackling the negative impact of organised crime in the county.
“However, the occurrence of sexual offences and violence with and without injury continues to climb. A lot of these offences are associated with domestic abuse and are very much ‘hidden’ crimes, committed behind closed doors. It is of note that 24% of all reported crime in Norfolk is related to Domestic Abuse, which by its nature largely happens behind closed doors.
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 December 2022.
These figures also show a rise for violence with injury offences, up by 22%. Records of violence have steadily increased nationally over the last three years, but practices to improve the recording of offences and the tendency for the public to report crimes have risen too, so this could be an effect of reporting, rather than a real change.
Initiatives to tackle domestic abuse include a two-year pilot, the Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Partnership Approach (DAPPA). Funded by the PCC, the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) aims to create effective multi-agency risk management plans around domestic abuse offenders. The scheme implements bespoke individual behavioural change programmes to reduce the risk of a person reoffending.
In addition to this, the PCC works with Norfolk Constabulary to ensure that victims and survivors of domestic abuse are supported.
Now celebrating its first anniversary, 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 £6.6 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 PCC launched his police budget consultation in January 2023 asking the residents of Norfolk to support a 5.2% increase in the policing precept of the council tax in order to maintain current levels of the policing service.
Mr Orpen-Smellie added, “The policing family is bigger than the officers on the front line – it takes a range of different services to support them including police staff, members of the Special Constabulary and other vital volunteers. They need police vehicles, buildings, professionals with specialist knowledge in areas such as forensics. Officers need to continually develop their knowledge and skills and require the right training facilities to do this.
“I have discussed with the Chief Constable every possibility to save money across the current staffing capability and activity and I can assure you that the constabulary are as efficient in using your money as they possibly can be. Indeed, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services recently graded Norfolk Constabulary as ‘Outstanding’ for their efficient and effective use of resources.
“So, at a time when crime is rising, pressure on police budgets is ever increasing. On 2 February, I will be discussing the outcome of the consultation at the Norfolk Police and Crime Panel. I would like to take this opportunity to thank residents of Norfolk for their feedback and support and for taking the time to meet me at engagement events across the county.”
* 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.