December 11 2013 Latest news:
Friday, November 1, 2013
A police officer was injured by a firework and a teenager was arrested during Halloween-related disturbances – though police reported that reported incidents overall fell for the fifth year in a row.
Officers in Norfolk received 55 calls, including a firework put through the doorway of business premises in Church Lane Gorleston, a figure below the 70 recorded the year before, 82 in 2011 and 2010 and 98 in 2009.
Youngsters were reported throwing fireworks in York Way, Thetford, and a 17-year-old boy was arrested, while in Wymondham a police constable received a minor injury after a firework was thrown into an alleyway.
Youths in Heacham, including one dressed as Kermit the Frog, were found smashing bottles - though “the muppets were dispersed when officers arrived”, police said.
In Suffolk, a business owner was left with an expensive cleaning bill after vandals covered a van with paint and eggs.
The white Vauxhall van, belonging to Louise and Paul Underdown who run Carlton Cleaning in Lowestoft, was parked in Durban Road when it was targeted between 5pm on Thursday and 7am yesterday.
The mother-of-three said: “I am annoyed really. I have got children and we do trick or treat and we do Halloween things but whoever did this have taken it that step too far.”
Police in Norfolk and Suffolk stepped up patrols on Thursday night, and worked with residents and businesses to ensure people could celebrate safely.
Inspector Paul Garrard, from the operational partnerships team, said: “The evening passed without major incident and I would like to thank trick or treaters for showing respect to those who did not wish to take part in the celebrations.”
Police made efforts to engage with communities through police cadets and PCSOs as part of a national Association of Chief Police Officers’ crackdown on anti-social behaviour.
Cadets in Thetford visited vulnerable residents, PCSOs in South Norfolk handed out hot dogs and hot chocolate and officers in Norwich South joined with Norwich City Council, McDonald’s Tuckswood and Tesco Grove Road to host a community event on Jubilee Park.
Assistant Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “It is pleasing to see that once again this year reports of ASB, at one of the busiest times of the policing year, have fallen. This shows our increased police presence in hotspot areas and engagement with local communities has a real impact.”
Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett added: “ I am pleased to hear that there were fewer calls to the police this Halloween and people were able to have fun celebrating the evening. I commend the police, partners and the other volunteers who organised activities in their communities to help make this a successful year.”
In Lowestoft, there were five reports of criminal damage and a handful of cases of anti-social behaviour, though officers saw a drop in the number of anti-social behaviour reports compared to Halloween last year.
The number of calls in Suffolk remained the same, but there were 81 reports anti-social behaviour, compared to 89 in 2012 and 158 in 2011.