Norfolk's PCC responds to the latest release of crime statistics data
Norfolk's 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 March 2022 and show that crime in Norfolk increased during this period by 10.6% (62,591 offences to 69,226).
Giles Orpen-Smellie, Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, said: “As your PCC it is my role to scrutinise, challenge and hold the Chief Constable and senior officers to account and 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.
“Scrutiny of such data also allows me to assess to what extent the Chief Constable and his team are meeting objectives set out in my Police, Crime and Community Safety Plan
“It is of concern as a county, we have seen a higher than 10% increase in overall crime for the 12 months prior to March 2022 and I will be liaising with policing colleagues to better understand the reason for such an increase and how, as the Chief Constable suggests, this has been impacted by the national pandemic.
“Sexual offences, violence with injury and without, robbery and stalking and harassment have seen some of the biggest rises.
“The rise in sexual offences and violence with and without injury which capitulates 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 I included a specific priority to tackle crimes such as domestic abuse, sexual offences and Violence Against Women and Girls in my Police, Crime and Community Safety Plan for Norfolk.
“My office also commissions a wide number of support services for victims of crime, to ensure that help and support is always there for those who need it and is able to bid for government funding to tackle specific priority areas.
“It is reassuring to see Norfolk has seen a decrease in drugs offences, burglaries and vehicle offences.”
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 June 2022.
Drug trafficking offences showed a 33% decrease in the county for this period falling from 551 offences to 370.
PCC Orpen-Smellie, added: “Preventing crime from happening in the first place and bringing perpetrators to justice must be an absolute priority.
"Only last week it was revealed how more than 12,000 children and young people have benefitted from a specialist project aimed at highlighting the dangers of criminal exploitation and gangs - thanks to funding and support from my office.
“What is more reassuring is thanks to the foundations laid by my team and St Giles who run the SOS+ Project, partners in the county are now offering further support to young people in this area.”
The figures also reveal while ONS data shows a 22.1% increase in violence with injury offences the latest data to the end of June shows a smaller increase of 15% - 7406 offences to 8521. Some 20% of all violence with injury was domestic abuse related and 28% of all stalking and harassment was domestic abuse related.
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.
Mr Orpen-Smellie, who will be holding the police to account at his next PCC Accountability Meeting on 3 August, added: “Levels of offending and reductions are not the sole responsibility of the police, a partnership approach is the best way to ensure Norfolk remains a safe place to live, work and visit which is why I am proud of the work my team also carries out as co-ordinators of the Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership."
* 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.