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Police on the lookout for Travellers in Cromer as anniversary of ‘lockdown’ weekend looms

Cromer, after the weekend of disorder at the end of Cromer Carnival last year. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Cromer, after the weekend of disorder at the end of Cromer Carnival last year. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Police officers patrolling this year’s Cromer carnival have have been carrying images of those responsible for an outbreak of violence and disorder at last year’s event in a bit to avoid a repeat of the problems.

Assistant chief constable Paul Sanford. Picture: ArchantAssistant chief constable Paul Sanford. Picture: Archant

It comes as extra patrols have been taking place around Cromer throughout August, as thousands of people have flocked to the popular resort town for this year’s carnival week, which finishes tomorrow.

Norfolk’s Assistant Chief Constable Paul Sanford, said just two of the 37 crimes reported in Cromer between August 18 and August 20 last year had been solved, which he admitted was “not good enough”.

Mr Sanford said: “I’ve had officers on the street with the CCTV images of the offenders who caused problems last year, so if they set foot in Cromer...

“We’ve been sharing those images far and wide, we haven’t given up on this, and if it happens again our response will be stronger.”

Last year, a number of businesses were forced to close their doors after a group of about 100 Travellers - which have been blamed for the disorder - drove up from Lowestoft.

The police were criticised for their lack of response to the crisis, which put the town on ‘lockdown’.

ACC Sanford said Chief Constable Simon Bailey had directed him to implement a number of recommendations made after an inquiry into the police response to the incidents, and he was confident this would prevent a repeat of the disorder.

He added: “The events that happened in Cromer were really bad for the town and we put in a sub-standard response.

“This year and for future years we’ve got extra officers on duty and we’ve got our intelligence systems right.

“We’ve got extra commanders who are going to be personally responsible for any issues that are going to occur.

“What we can’t promise is that Travellers will not attend any town, city or market town within the county - they’ve been doing that for centuries and most of them are law-abiding people.

“What happened last year was that a disorderly bunch of criminals, frankly, attended Cromer, and we didn’t respond properly.

“If that happened again you would get a very different response.”

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