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Five people arrested during police crackdown in Norwich city centre

PUBLISHED: 14:34 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 20:07 01 May 2018

Officers patrolling Norwich city centre as part of a day of action. Picture: Archant

Officers patrolling Norwich city centre as part of a day of action. Picture: Archant

Archant

A dispersal order is in place for the centre of Norwich as officers from across the city pooled resources to round up wanted people on Monday.

Officers searching for wanted people as part of a Norwich East day of action. Picture: ArchantOfficers searching for wanted people as part of a Norwich East day of action. Picture: Archant

The order was put in place for 48 hours after 27 calls to police for anti-social behaviour in the city centre over the previous 72 hours, including for violence and public order offences.

15 officers from across the city conducted patrols to issue community protection notices and make outstanding arrests in bulk.

Targets included two rough sleepers who are suspected of stealing collection boxes from charity shops, two women wanted for perfume theft from Castle Mall, and a man accused of wounding with intent during an incident at Paddy Power on Norfolk Street.

Officers issued two community protection notices during the morning to repeat offenders for anti-social behaviour, giving them a list of conditions to adhere to or face arrest.

They also made five arrests and issued five directions to leave.

Sgt Mark Shepherd, of the Norwich East policing team, said under the Norfolk 2020 remodelling of the force the city centre will be focusing on more visibility patrols and days of action.

“The idea is with the new model going forward the city centre is going to have 12 beat managers - that is up from five currently,” he said. “That gives us all more time out in the community.

“This is all about visibility and the public should understand they are going to see more police officers out on foot beat.

“There is a number of arrest packages lined up and when we do days like today, the demand for the response teams will go down. The safer neighbourhood team and investigators are pooling our resources to have an impact and try to bring these people in.

“What we are finding is people who commit crime will come to the city centre to do it. That makes it easier for us to find and prevent.”

During the morning two community protection notices were handed out to ‘aggressive beggars’, to run until October. Officers hope it will prevent anti-social behaviour in the city centre worsening this summer.

“If we can evidence that people are here for begging they will go up an escalation model,” added Sgt Shepherd. “This is about getting them to break that cycle and to engage with support services.

“The problem is we just displace the issue. We are not solving it long term. The long term solution is diverting them from that lifestyle.”

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