Royal Norfolk Show proves success for emergency services - with special thank you from Prince William
Thousands of people visiting the Norfolk Show this week popped into the emergency services village to meet with police, fire, ambulance and other emergency personnel to find out more about the vital work they do in the county.
Visitors also called in at the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk’s (OPCCN) stand to meet with colleagues and discover more about the work of the office, in particular the funding of commissioned services in Norfolk.
Members of one such service, the Roads Victims Trust, were on hand to speak to show visitors about the key work they do to support those affected by grief and trauma as a result of a fatal Road Traffic Collision (RTC). View the news item here
PCC Giles Orpen-Smellie was also at the stand both days to speak to people about his role.
Mr Orpen-Smellie also took part in a rural crime question and answer session kindly hosted by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) - The East, and attended by Norfolk Constabulary's Chief Constable Paul Sanford and rural crime officer PC Chris Shelley.
Chief Constable Sanford opened the event by saying how aware he was of the impact of rural crime on the agricultural community and highlighted the fact the constabulary has a dedicated team of officers to tackle such crimes.
Mr Sanford said successes have included the work of the Operation Moonshot Team in using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to target and disrupt criminals using the county’s roads, resulting in arrests and seizure of equipment.
PCC Giles Orpen-Smellie, opened the meeting saying how public perception compared with reality needed to be addressed.
“It is about the public perception of crime, for the rural community particularly, there is a perception there is a threat and hopefully we can address the reality."
He added: "I’m also quite certain the rural community would like to see more officers. We are the fifth largest county in the country. Some 60 percent of the Norfolk population lives in rural areas.
"There is a huge amount of work going on in those areas and I hope we can address that perception today.”
Areas of concern included GPS thefts being a challenge for agricultural businesses. PC Shelley discussed solutions around trackers and how police target criminals involved and worked with partners both locally and nationally to share intelligence to tackle rural crime issues.
Hare-coursing and livestock worrying were also concerns addressed. The work of Rural Champions in the constabulary – an initiative to ensure there are dedicated officers in each district with basic knowledge of rural crime – was also discussed. PC Shelley said the champions come in addition to the police Rural Crime Team who work alongside the police drone team, rural crime managers and Operation Moonshot to keep the Norfolk rural community safe.
Andrew Marriott, Rural Advisor for CLA East, said they had regular contact from members raising issues around rural crime including fly-tipping and GPS thefts but added; “The support we have from the Rural Crime Team is excellent, we have dialogue with a very positive and capable team, and we are working with the police to solve these issues.”
As well as the Q&A event on Thursday Mr Orpen-Smellie and Mr Sanford met with His Royal Highness Prince William as he greeted emergency services personnel.
In recognition of His Majesty the King's wish to promote community cohesion and the spirit of volunteering, community champions from across the county, came together at a special event at the show on the Wednesday, to highlight and thank them for their commitment.
The OPCCN's Independent Advisory Group member Juels Copley and Independent Custody Visitor Rick Parry were both delighted to be honoured at the event organised in partnership with the Norfolk Lieutenancy and the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA).