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Norwich hosts successful Q&A policing session

More than 40 members of the public attended the latest question and answer session hosted by PCC Lorne Green and Chief Constable Simon Bailey this week.

A number of issues were raised at the event, held at The Forum in Norwich, including drug dealing in the city, police response to the 101 non-emergency number and police funding.

The event was sixth event of its kind to be held in the county as part of the Commissioner’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 attendees were also given the opportunity to find out about policing in their area, meet senior officers and raise their crime and policing concerns.

Getting an overview of police activity and priorities from the District Superintendent Terry Lordan the meeting heard how there had been a 23.5% fall in anti-social behaviour incidents (5,498 to 4,205) in the past year. Numbers of arson, criminal damage, burglary and theft offences had also decreased.

Supt Lordan reported the largest crime increase had been for possession of weapons up from 127 on 2016/17 to 210 in 2017/18 – he explained such a rise was likely to be down to pro-active police work including Operation Gravity and County Lines aimed at tackling drug crime in the county.

The meeting also heard how 967 people had been reported missing between December 2017 and November 2018 in the district – 133 of those reported missing on repeat occasions.

Both the Chief Constable and PCC reiterated their commitment to protecting neighbourhood policing and a uniformed presence to the best of their ability.

The PCC also urged attendees to take part in his police budget consultation which runs until Wednesday 30 January 2019.

Lorne Green was keen to stress, should the public opt to pay the maximum amount of police element of council tax being proposed (an increase of £24 a year) there would be more uniformed officers in Norfolk than when he was elected in May 2016 – taking into account the loss of PCSOs.

The Chief Constable also stressed the need for residents to be the eyes and ears of the community and ensure they contact police with any issues they may have.

“It is so important that we are aware of what is going on within your community,” said Mr Bailey.

“We will then work with other partners and, where appropriate address matters head on with the local beat manager. We are only ever going to be as good as the intelligence we get.”

Agreeing with this PCC Lorne Green, added:  “The police are the public and the public are the police.”

The next Q&A session is due to take place on Monday 11 March in Diss.