Police in Norwich ask public to vote on priorities, as problems continue in city’s Rosary Road area
- Credit: Geraldine Scott
Police in Norwich have opened voting to set their priority in the city centre.
A shortlist has been drawn up of issues local representatives think should be the focus of policing efforts and now the public will be able to vote for what they think is most pressing.
Previously, in February, tackling drugs and anti-social behaviour around the Rosary Road area was top of the public's list of concerns.
MORE: Drug deals and soliciting for sex at an 'all time high' in Norwich neighbourhoodAnd the area appears in the shortlist again this time around. The four areas up for consideration are:
• Aggressive begging
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• Prostitution, Rosary Road
• Drugs, Heathgate and Bull Close area
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• Drugs, Pottergate area
MORE: City park dubbed a focal point for drug taking, sex workers and anti-social behaviourThe vote - which is now live on the Norwich Police Twitter and Facebook - will last for seven days and results will be announced on social media afterwards.
Previously, public-facing meetings were held to discuss local issues and from that a priority would be chosen for a set period of time. However, the police said they found the meetings were under-represented and did not reflect the actual concerns of the wider community, and therefore took to social media to gather opinion instead.
MORE: Behind the scenes - The work going on to tackle sex workers, drugs, and anti-social behaviour around Norwich's Rosary RoadCouncil representatives and other key stakeholders canvassed their communities and the issues raised supplied to the police with a top four selected according to policing relevance and risk factors.
Sgt Mark Shepherd, community sergeant for Norwich east, said he had reports from residents and the Matrix project - a service which helps sex workers - that there had been an improvement.
MORE: Arrest made as Norfolk sergeant remains committed to tackling anti-social behaviour in Norwich's Rosary Road area'They said there had been no girls working but at the weekend we know there were girls working and there were kerb crawlers.'
He said it was disappointing to hear there were still issues in the area, despite the hard work which had gone in.
But that they were remaining vigilant, with the number plates of six potential kerb crawlers being recorded at the weekend.
'They will now get a letter through their door, the residents are fed up. We know people do get a bit of Dutch courage to go and pick up the girls, so we're trying to stop one of a fatal fours there too.'
MORE: Police to increase patrols in the Rosary Road area of Norwich following complaints anti-social behaviour and prostitutionHe also said the help of the public had been invaluable in reporting drugs, sex workers and anti-social behaviour.
'My message to people is, the operation is still ongoing, if you don't have a reason to be in the Rosary Road area, don't go there.'
PC Adam Binns added: 'The priority setting process we have adopted across Norwich is a great way for the public to help shape the delivery of our service. We have seen our public engagement increase with some really positive contributions from the Norwich communities.
'We are listening to the concerns of residents and consulting with key community contacts to deliver local policing and the participation by the public with this process is vital'.
Voting will run until May 24.