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Man murdered in Thetford - four men arrested

PUBLISHED: 16:04 04 October 2019 | UPDATED: 20:06 04 October 2019

Police search the bridge over the underpass at Brandon Road in Thetford  where a man is believed to have been stabbed at Brandon Road in Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Police search the bridge over the underpass at Brandon Road in Thetford where a man is believed to have been stabbed at Brandon Road in Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A murder investigation has today been launched and four people arrested after a body was found by the roadside in Thetford.

Norfolk police are investigating after a man was pronounced dead in Brandon Road on Thursday, October 3.

Police confirmed they have launched a murder investigation, and locked down a large section of the town.

The East of England Ambulance Service and police attended the area and the man, believed to be in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the side of Brandon Road just before 8pm. Cordons remain in place in the Brandon Road and Canon's Close estate area.

MORE: Thetford murder: Members of the public battled to save victim's life

The underpass under Brandon Road in Thetford with the police tents in the background after a man is believed to have been stabbed at Brandon Road in Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe underpass under Brandon Road in Thetford with the police tents in the background after a man is believed to have been stabbed at Brandon Road in Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Brandon Road is closed to traffic between the junctions of St John's Way and London Road.

A black tarpaulin remains beneath a white tent erected on Brandon Road with a police guard, after the body was taken from the scene.

The nearby underpass is also cordoned off, with another forensics tent in place close to Canon's Close.

Four men have been arrested in connection with the death and remain in custody.

Police at the scene at the water meadow which is next to the Brandon Road at Thetford where a man is believed to have been stabbed. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPolice at the scene at the water meadow which is next to the Brandon Road at Thetford where a man is believed to have been stabbed. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Neighbours said violence in the area has "escalated" recently, as rumours swirl around the town.

But county councillor Terry Jermy said serious violence was still "rare" in Thetford.

"It is obviously shocking and it is a natural human reaction to be shocked by incidents like this," he said.

Reports locally surround a fight which broke out in the street, and police say it is an "isolated incident" with those involved known to each other.

An ambulance at the scene where a man is believed to have been stabbed at Brandon Road in Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAn ambulance at the scene where a man is believed to have been stabbed at Brandon Road in Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Kyle Tipper, 25, said he came home around 7.30pm to find the road closed off.

"About 50 people were out in the street looking at what was happening," he said. "I saw one man in handcuffs wearing a blue jacket being led away.

"The violence around here is escalating," he added. "The younger people now are more violent."

He said he had recently been attacked himself, and he was "not surprised" there had now been a death.

But another neighbour, 27, originally from London, said the area was usually "as good as gold".

He said when he heard about the incident: "I just wanted to know how close it was to my house. I phoned up my wife to make sure she was alright.

"It is not a rough area. The locals may think it is, but it's not. You don't hear of something like this round here usually."

Seventy-two-year-old John Matthews has lived nearby for three years since relocating from Chelmsford.

"We knew we weren't moving to the badlands of North Dakota," he said. "This isn't like Peckham or North London.

"When we came here we used to have PCSOs walking around, and there used to be a presence.

"When we came home last night there were a million blue lights and it seemed like half of Norfolk police was here.

"They have got the whole field taped off and they have said they could be here another 72 hours."

He added police had promised reassurance patrols but said he is yet to be visited.

"Somebody has now been killed," he said. "It is rare for Thetford but it's just the nature of society now."

He said there had been ongoing problems with drug dealers in the area.

"It has been intense for the last couple of months and ongoing for the last three years," he said.

"Notoriously it is an area where they can hide and hear the police cars coming."

Mr Jermy said residents should be mindful of rumours about the incident.

"It is very easy for people to be concerned and worried when something like this happens but the reason it is shocking is that thankfully it does not happen often," he said.

"It is really important people are aware of the facts and take reassurance from that.

"I can't remember the last time someone was murdered in Thetford, and it is normally people known to each other."

Enquiries undertaken to establish the exact circumstances leading up to the death have been ongoing and have led detectives in the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team to treat his death as murder.

It is understood the man suffered fatal stab wounds.

Detective chief inspector Marie James said: "We know this incident will have caused concern among local residents, and the local Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team will be conducting reassurance patrols in the area.

"Enquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances surrounding this man's death and we would be keen to hear from anyone who may know anything that could help our investigation."

Paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) and police attended the area by the side of the road.

The man was pronounced dead just before 8pm.

Firefighters from Thetford were also called to Brandon Road at about 8.40pm.

A spokesperson said they lit the area using fire engine lights so police could continue their investigations. The two pumps sent were stood down just after 9pm.

- Anyone with information is asked to contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting incident number 413 of 3 October 2019 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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