Violent crime and drugs offences on the rise in Norfolk

Police were called to Magpie Road after a burglary.

Police were called to Magpie Road after a burglary. - Credit: Archant © 2005

Violent crime and drug offences continue to rise in Norfolk according to the latest figures.

Data published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) for the 12-month period ending in September 2020 show there have been reductions in the number of residential and business burglaries as well as theft and robbery offences in the county.

But Norfolk has also seen big increases in drug, sexual and public order offences as well as knife and violent non-injury crimes.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Davison, said: “The latest statistics are in line with our predictions and national trends.

"While we’ve seen increases in certain crime types it is important, as with any statistics, to provide context and remember that Norfolk remains a safe place to live.

“We’ve seen some significant reductions, particularly with residential burglaries which are down 17pc, equating to five reports per day, and in county with a population of 903,000, this is a notable achievement.

“While COVID-19 restrictions will undoubtedly have a part to play in this, we are seeing continued decreases in criminal damage and theft offences, down 8pc and 20pc respectively, in line with pre-pandemic trends.

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“Drug related offending has continued to rise; however, we see this as a positive reflection of our robust and targeted enforcement approach to this criminality, especially in tackling county lines.

"The more you look, the more you will find and our work in this area has been recognised nationally.

“Similarly, reports of both recent and non-recent sexual offences have increased, again, a trend we welcome as it demonstrates a greater confidence in victims to come forward for offences which have been underreported for many years.

“Another area we continue to see increases in is violence with injury crimes; these are up by 5pc and actually account for about 31pc of all crime and this trend has ultimately impacted our overall crime levels in recent years.

"This trend is largely attributable to significant improvements made in recording practices during the last five years."

In 2014 a review by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary found some shortcomings in how Norfolk Police recorded crime.

But since then the force had increased compliance with the National Crime Recording Standards, which determine what incidents must be recorded as crimes.

Lorne Green, Norfolk's police and crime commissioner Lorne Green said while he welcomed the fact the figures showed the county had a low crime rate, he was concerned drug crime, knife crime, violent and sexual offences were continuing to rise.

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