Police to boost patrols of city parks over summer
PUBLISHED: 16:19 22 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:19 22 July 2019
Archant © 2018
Police are set to flood officers into Norwich parks this summer to make them safe for residents and identify "high harm" areas.
It comes after city centre police launched an operation to disrupt a group of 30 youths known to deal drugs and carry knives in Chapelfield Gardens.
Undercover and uniformed officers will be upping patrols in the gardens this summer.
And in the coming weeks all city parks will see more patrols.
It is part of a bid to identify those areas of Norwich which have the highest levels of violence, drugs or anti-social behaviour.
Norwich police commander Supt Terry Lordan said he wanted to make parks in the city safe for the public over the summer months.
He added he didn't want to simply "move the problem around".
"We are trying to identify areas we believe to be high harm areas," he said. "It could be an area we have got an increase in reports from the public or an increase in violence and anti-social behaviour.
You may also want to watch:
"We have got a very proactive team that do a lot of work targeting areas where communities have concerns, which could be park areas.
"I want officers in those high harm areas with high levels of anti-social behaviour, and I want officers engaging with the local community using their full range of powers, including stop and search.
"We will be looking at park areas as we move into the summer and make sure in the park areas we have got that people actually feel safe and reassured to go there."
Safer neighbourhood policing teams in the city will use the opportunity to work with partners in the councils and health services to identify children who may be at risk of exploitation.
On the first day of the operation in Chapelfield Gardens last week police seized two knives, some cannabis and some Class A drugs.
A 16-year-old boy from London who arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of drugs.
Two 15-year-old boys were also arrested in connection with drug offences.
"We need to continue our focus around local schools and making sure we have officers tied in to our key schools areas, including social services and the youth offending team," added Supt Lordan.
"We try to identify children that may be at risk of getting involved in that exploitation associated with county lines."