'I never answer the door at night' - neighbours call for security after man stabbed in communal flats
Neighbours close to where a man was stabbed in a communal area of flats say they need security and are afraid to go out at night for fear of drug dealers.
Officers were called shortly before 5pm to the Goodman Square area following reports a person had been stabbed.
Police and emergency services attended, but the victim had fled from the scene by the time they arrived.
Two teenagers from London were arrested on the street nearby, and officers went on to force entry to a top floor flat in Freeman Square, on the junction of Old Palace Road and Heigham Street.
By Friday morning, a man had been admitted to hospital with a stab wound, which is not thought to be serious.
The attack occurred on the doorstep of Robert Parfitt and Pauline Ives, who have lived in Goodman Square for 22 years.
“This has been the worst two years we have ever had,” said Ms Ives. “We have been trying to get secure doors in the block but they told us there are other areas which need it more. Now something like this has happened.”
The couple were home at the time of the stabbing, but were unaware until they saw a police forensics van outside.
“That was lovely here when we first moved in,” added Ms Ives. “Now you see people round here dealing every day.”
The couple have tried to get licence plate numbers to hand to police, and Mr Parfitt even confronted some of the dealers.
“There were three of them standing up near the road all shouting at each other,” said the 86-year-old. “They didn’t have the drugs they had come to get, and in the end I had to go out to talk to them. I know I should have done.”
Ms Ives added: “I never answer the door at night now. You never know who is going to be there. Different people have moved in now and it is just not the same.”
The community has taken steps to protect themselves from the drug activity, including meeting with the council and putting up CCTV.
Anna Crotch, 18, overheard the latest incident from her flat on Goodman Square.
“There was a lot of shouting going on, but it is just that kind of area,” she said. “You hear a lot of shouting and fighting so I didn’t think much of it at first.
“Then I heard what sounded like a pole hit the concrete floor, so I thought something was going on.
“By the time I went to look police were there interviewing someone.”
She said there is “so much drug dealing going on”, and the block organised a meeting with the council to raise their concerns.
“That was two or three months ago and nothing has happened,” she said. “We get people shooting up and dealing round here.
“They use this as a buying and selling place because it is easy access.”
In nearby Freeman Square, two doors have been broken in by police within a week. The latest was during a search after the arrests of the London teenagers.
A 25-year-old mother has lived in Freeman for more than a year since escaping an abusive relationship.
“I try not to get involved because I have a little boy. I don’t want any trouble. I am under the impression if you keep yourself to yourself you will be alright.
“It is just a bad area. I lived in Costessey and Bowthorpe before here and you could walk about at night. I don’t even take the bins out on my own here.
“A week ago police rammed the door across from us. The next morning they were back here using drugs because you felt high just walking in the corridor. It was horrible.”
Two teenagers from London were arrested on suspicion of assault, possession of an offensive weapon and possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and they both remain in police custody.
Enquiries are ongoing and it’s believed those involved are known to each other.
Anyone with information about the incident should contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/