Revealed: Norwich streets with the most crimes
PUBLISHED: 11:11 14 April 2018 | UPDATED: 13:31 14 April 2018
The fallout from late night drinking on Prince Of Wales Road, including anti-social behaviour and criminal damage, has left the street with the highest level of crime in Norwich in the first months of this year.
It is joined by well-known areas for street drinking and anti-social behaviour in the city centre - where police regularly target resources.
But they also sit alongside a tiny street off Sprowston Road with just one café, a couple of car workshops, convenience store and a timber company.
Recorded crime around Denmark Opening shows 37 incidents of shoplifting during January and February - one every two days, according to Home Office data.
And local businesses put it down to the new supermarket across the road, which has been trading since last August.
In the same period in 2017, the area had just one crime recorded - a robbery, and traders on Denmark Opening say theirs is a quiet street which rarely calls on police.
Benoy Kurian is manager of Denmark Convenience Stores, opposite the new Co-Op supermarket, and said his store has “never had a problem” with shoplifting.
“Mostly they are good customers,” he said. “We have never had to call the police here to this shop.
“I have CCTV everywhere so if anyone comes in I am watching them.”
He added that business had “not been so good lately”, and is too slow since the opening of the supermarket.
Jo Whitmore, manager of Denmark Café, which has been there for eight years, said the area “has seen better days”.
But she said the problems at Denmark Opening were over parking spaces and traffic.
“There is a lot more that goes on down here but people don’t voice an opinion because we are all here to make a living. I know the Co-Op has quite a big issue with shoplifting.”
Les Balls, of Les Balls Fencing, said his business has had no problems in the last three years, since an “opportunist” thief stole a Christmas tree.
A Co-op spokesperson said: “The Co-op takes retail crime very seriously and implements a range of measures to both deter criminal activity and to aid convictions.”
Other roads which feature in the top 10 for the first months of this year have been priorities for police in the city centre.
Prince of Wales Road has seen the most incidents of crime reported, including 19 of anti-social behaviour, seven of violence or sexual offences, and four public order offences.
The effect of the night time economy can also be seen at Upper King Street, with 12 cases of violence or sexual offences, and 10 of anti-social behaviour.
Frequent incidents of anti-social behaviour are also reported from William Booth Street and William Kett Close.
With the former by the Haymarket and the latter where Bishopbridge House sits, they are regular spots for street drinkers to congregate.
Police have relaunched Operation Wormington for 2018, which focuses on anti-social behaviour and street drinking in the city centre.
And around Rosary Road, kerb crawlers are the focus of local officers over concerns around prostitution and drug dealing.
Sgt Adam Binns, of the city centre policing team, said there is a public order deployment at Prince of Wales Road every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night to police the “fallout” from the night time economy.
“There is a real drive from the city centre team to deal with all the street offences, from street drinking to aggressive begging,” he added.
“If people are committing street level offences they go through an escalation model which can lead to a criminal behaviour order.
“There is going to be an increase in staff in the city centre to make sure we have more resilience. We are going to be having dedicated beat managers to look at retail theft, which is about changing the culture from catching shoplifters to preventing it in the first place.”
He added Rosary Road “will always be a target” for police to bring down levels of anti-social behaviour and prostitution.
“There has been a slight shift in recent months in terms of not just enforcement but looking at the kerb crawlers,” he said. “That has had an impact in the last few months and it needs that focus, which it will always get from the city centre team.”
Anyone with information about crime in their area should contact Norfolk Police on non-emergency number 101.
Police and business working to keep city safe
The newly pedestrianised All Saints Street carries one of the highest numbers of crimes, mainly due to shoplifting, with 11 offences and five burglaries.
Stefan Gurney, chief executive of Norwich Business Improvement District, said partnership working between businesses, police and council was focused on tackling shoplifting, theft and anti-social behaviour.
“We have continued to work closely with all the business community and the police and local authority to ensure we have got the safest environment we can for people who use, live and work in the city centre,” he said.
“We co-ordinated the Alert radio scheme and DISC scheme, which is an online information and sharing platform which the police are involved with as well.
“We ensure we share vital information to reduce the level of crime and anti-social behaviour in the city. The business community is continuing to engage and wants to be proactive to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in Norwich.”