New investigation hub revealed in bid to tackle rise in serious offences

Artist's impression of the new investigations hub which is due to open at the Broadland Business Park, near Norwich in 2022.

Artist's impression of the new investigations hub which is due to open at the Broadland Business Park, near Norwich in 2022. - Credit: Supplied by Norfolk Constabulary

Violent crime and sexual offences have continued to rise in Norfolk with figures revealing there were an extra 4,500 crimes in the county between April 2019 and March 2020 - with sexual offences increasing by 14.5pc over the period.

In a bid to arrest the rise of such offences, Norfolk Police are creating two investigation hubs, bringing together about 150 officers, made up of detective constables, sergeants and police staff, enabling the teams to come together to "surge to meet demand".

An investigations hub is due to open at the Broadland Business Park, on the outskirts of Norwich, next year after the initial hub was opened at Swaffham in November last year.

Picture of the Swaffham investigation hub which opened in November 2020.

Picture of the Swaffham investigation hub which opened in November 2020. - Credit: Supplied by Norfolk Constabulary

Temporary detective superintendent Paul Brown said policing, like the world, had changed, and the two new centres would be "fusing detectives with specialist skilled staff, equipment and tactics to enable us to try to meet the pace of change head on".

He said: "We are now uncovering and attacking more forms of criminality that really harm our community, child exploitation through drugs and on-line sexual abuse, organised criminality and serious crime where the victim does not or is unable to support police. 

Temporary detective superintendent Paul Brown.

Temporary detective superintendent Paul Brown. - Credit: Supplied by Norfolk Constabulary.

"There cannot be any ‘no-go’ areas for policing and there won’t be.

"Over the past 10 years, more and more people have felt that the police service are now ready to listen to them and our serious sexual offence reporting reflects this."

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Mr Brown said they had invested in training for detectives to be able to meet victims' needs, recognise trauma and not to make it worse as they hunt for ways to make the process less intrusive.

The new centres, which will also be used for other investigations like fraud, exploitation and modern day slavery, would have around 150 officers working across the sites as well as around 15 police staff and police digital investigators.

He said: "The two Investigation hubs will bring the teams together to enable us to surge to meet demand, to have the right skills side by side to do things faster and better and to have a set of facilities and infrastructure that are flexible enough to meet the future needs.

"I also want our teams to work in an environment where they feel secure and supported to go out and make a difference."

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