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Grass roots crime the target for top cop

PUBLISHED: 14:43 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 08:59 13 July 2010

Police aim to target grass roots crime which is causing concern in communities across North Norfolk says the area's new top cop.

Supt Dave Marshall says the district is a “fantastically safe place to live” with relatively low crime figures, compared with his last posting in Bradford.

Police aim to target grass roots crime which is causing concern in communities across North Norfolk says the area's new top cop.

Supt Dave Marshall says the district is a “fantastically safe place to live” with relatively low crime figures, compared with his last posting in Bradford.

But there was a high level of fear of crime, particularly among the elderly, which needed to be combated.

And he assured that “we will treat every crime seriously,” adding: “we won't trivialise local crimes because they are a big issue to those involved.”

Among initiatives are to put newsagent style A-boards outside raided houses, or leaflets through neighbours doors, to explain what police officers have been doing.

There were also plans to do more schools liaison to stop a minority of at-risk youths getting involved in crime, and hopes of an award system to recognise the good work done by the majority of youngsters.

“Young people tend to get a bad Press, and some elderly think all youngsters hanging around the streets wearing hoodies are up to no good. But they also do a lot of good work,” said Supt Marshall, who is the new head of scores of response and community officers across north Norfolk.

“We need to promote to the elderly that young people are not all bad,” he added.

Increased school liaison would hopefully remind youngsters of the perceptions some people had of them - and early intervention with those known to be “on the cusp of criminality” could also stop crimes before they happened.

Supt Marshall said a revised policing structure, which included a string of Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) was aimed at delivering policing which responded to local needs and issues.

“Crime figures are low in north Norfolk. We don't have much serious crime, but that does not devalue it.”

Officers would “robustly” investigate crimes, and use the A boards and leaflets to highlight efforts to reduce crime, which, like the presence of more community officers on the beat, should reassure the public that police were trying to reduce crime in the area.

Forensics - normally reserved for major crimes - could also be used for apparently routine events such as lead and oil thefts, which were becoming an issue.

“A lot of routine crime impacts on people's lives. The SNTs are dealing with issues such as parking, and anti-social behaviour.

“We have the resources and it is about empowering local inspectors to deal with issues in their areas,” he added.

Supt Marshall is based at North Walsham, where local inspector Pete Hornby will cover the town and Stalham. Sheringham and Cromer will be covered by Chief Inspector Steve Jones and Holt comes under the Fakenham and Wells area led by Insp Mike Brown.

People with non-urgent local policing concerns can contact their Safer Neighbourhood Team through the Norfolk police website - www.norfolk.police.uk - by adding their postcode to get contacts, see local policing priorities and make comments. Those without internet access can phone 0845 456 4567, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Anyone reporting a crime in progress or in need of immediate assistance should call 999.


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