New police commander for Norwich pledges more bobbies on the beat
Archant © 2018
Norwich's new police commander has promised more bobbies on the beat, with the city set to see an influx of fresh officers this year.
As the Norfolk 2020 policing model is put into action, a total of 38 new police officers, sergeants and beat managers are being recruited across the city.
They will replace 27 PCSOs that have been lost after the role was scrapped by chief constable Simon Bailey, as well as add an extra layer of cover and “flexibility” to respond to local issues.
Mr Bailey told a public meeting in May that by the end of this summer officer numbers would be more than 1,500 “out on the streets” which was “the best place we have been in for a long time”.
Supt Terry Lordan has now taken up position as district commander for Norwich, and has pledged “better engagement and visibility” for city residents.
Over recent weeks up to eight officers have been on regular foot patrol in the city centre, and Supt Lordan has instructed his teams to be more visible on the streets and in community meetings.
“Engagement is key in the community because that is how we can receive information and provide reassurance,” he said.
“We are also able to react to community needs. If there is an area which becomes a priority from SNAP [Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel] meetings we will have an uplift of officers to tackle that.”
31 of the new recruits will be beat managers and Supt Lordan expects them all to be in post by the end of the year.
“At the moment we are going through that churn of recruitment,” he said. “Local engagement will be my big push. If there is a community meeting who would like one of us to attend, they should let us know.”
The extra officers will also be flexible across the districts to respond to problem hotspots.
Supt Lordan added: “The more flexible we are in terms of workforce the better. Should we have a particular problem area I will have the flexibility to mobilise officers to tackle that problem.
“Having a vibrant local economy and safe night-time economy with a good business community is absolutely key to the city. Providing these extra officers will go towards achieving that.
“Over the last couple of months it is noticeable we have more officers responding to community needs. The model we are currently operating within, we have flexibility to move resources around based on where there is the greatest threat, risk and harm.”
Norwich will also benefit from its own dedicated team under Operation Moonshot. It involves a tight knit team using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology and local knowledge to arrest criminals on the road network.
A Moonshot team of a sergeant and six officers have been operating on a trial basis in Norwich over the course of 17 shifts and seized 100 vehicles.
“In that time they have made 67 arrests ranging from high risk domestic abuse to individuals who are wanted or going equipped,” said Supt Lordan.
“They will provide another tactical option against organised crime groups attempting to come back into the city, which is seeing significant arrests.”
Supt Lordan added police “won’t lose sight” of social issues including drugs, homelessness and anti-social behaviour but reiterated Norwich “is a very safe city and will remain so”.
“All cities have an element of anti-social behaviour and drug dealing and Norwich is no different,” he said.
“We won’t lose sight of county lines drug dealing. I feel very proud of the fact our response to it has been so strong. We have across the district arrested 60 people in relation to drug dealing in Operation Cayman in the last two months.
“There are a number of social issues which policing alone will not solve and requires a more holistic approach. I see better partnership working as helping to break the cycle of offending behaviour and tackle more of those social issues.”