Norfolk police has been told to improve how it tackles serious and organised crime.

Threats posed by known organised criminals aren't routinely shared with frontline officers, staff and partner organisations, an inspection found.

The inspectors also said officers do not routinely monitor the activities of organised crime gangs while in prison, according to the report by His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.

Police said the report did not fully reflect its success in tackling county lines drug gangs.

Eastern Daily Press: Police said the inspection did not include success in tackling county linesPolice said the inspection did not include success in tackling county lines (Image: PA)

It follows an inspection of the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), which brings together seven police forces to fight serious and organised crime (SOC) offences ranging from child sexual exploitation and modern slavery to drugs and cybercrime.

READ MORE: Norfolk police welcome organised crime gang members sentence

Inspectors rated the work of ERSOU overall as good but said Norfolk required “improvement”.

Among the failings identified was intelligence about serious crime threats only being shared on a case-by-case basis with staff from one partner agency telling inspectors they had felt “blindsided” by their lack of knowledge.

The report said identifying vulnerable people was “sometimes inconsistent” with information not always shared. 

“Partner organisations gave examples of when they had to intervene to make police aware of the vulnerability of some young people who would otherwise have been prosecuted,” it added.

READ MORE: Norfolk County Lines drugs kingpins jailed for 300 years

Deputy chief constable Simon Megicks said it had “already addressed the majority of the report’s recommendations”.

"It is important to note that, during the period under inspection, the force’s greatest local SOC priority was tackling gang and county line violence, which we know impacts significantly on our local communities,” he said.

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk deputy chief constable Simon MegicksNorfolk deputy chief constable Simon Megicks (Image: Norfolk Constabulary)

“Our considerable work tackling county lines alongside colleagues from children’s services, schools and voluntary sector colleagues accounted for more than all the other SOC disruptions put together but was not included in the scope of this HMICFRS inspection.  

“This means that the work of our dedicated county lines team which has secured more than 300 years in prison sentences for those responsible for dealing drugs was not considered as part of this inspection."