Angry people in Cromer let rip at police chiefs over what happened during the weekend of August 18-20
PUBLISHED: 20:29 06 September 2017 | UPDATED: 20:29 06 September 2017
The level of anger towards the police over what happened in Cromer three weeks ago remains strong, despite the chief constable admitting the force got it wrong over that weekend.
The picture that emerged from a special police accountability meeting on Wednesday, September 6 was of a “town under siege” and being “lawless” for two days.
And judging by the mood of residents and businesses that anger will take some time to die down.
About 200 people attended the meeting, which was arranged by Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green to allow people to quiz chiefs about what went wrong on the weekend of August 18-20.
And the picture painted by those in Cromer at the time was of a group of travellers being allowed to pretty much do as they pleased and getting away with it “scot-free”.
And while Chief Constable Simon Bailey was adamant the report into what happened would not be buried and the criminals would be brought to justice, the meeting ended with many people still unconvinced.
Mr Bailey admitted that the trouble was caused by an extended Irish traveller family comprising about 100 people who had descended on the town, camping at the Runton road car park, on the night of Friday, August 18. They left on Sunday, August 20.
Mr Bailey also said that the rape of a young woman in the town on Friday night was being linked to the weekend of disorder. Three men have been arrested in connection with the rape.
However, he stressed that the criminal group of travellers was not representative of the wider traveller community.
The meeting was also told that the duty police officer in Norfolk was not told that the group of travellers was heading to Cromer, due to a mix-up in communications.
Mr Bailey said that a 17-year-old female and a 16-year-old male had since been dealt with for thefts from shops. He added that the police were looking to seize all the CCTV material available.
One of the speakers at the meeting was Nashim Uddin, owner of the Masala Twist Indian restaurant in the town.
Dozens of travellers descended on his restaurant on the Saturday, but Mr Uddin said that, despite police being outside, no officer intervened to help them. They also said that they had received no support from the police since.