"This is more akin to what you read about in Hackney or Haringey" - Norwich councillor's shock after teenager is shot
PUBLISHED: 13:28 27 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:41 27 June 2018
ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434
A city councillor has spoken of his shock at escalating levels of violence in Norwich after a London teenager was shot in the back at a city park.
Officers were called to Adelaide Street at approximately 2am after local residents reporting hearing an altercation followed by a gunshot.
Units, including armed response officers, arrived on scene to find a man with a gunshot wound to his back. The victim, a 19-year-old from London, was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for treatment. He remains in a serious condition although his injuries are not believed to be life threatening.
The incident happened in a wooded area cornered by Adelaide Street and West End Street which has been sealed off while police carry out enquiries.
Mancroft ward councillor Martin Schmierer said he has been working with local residents to clear up the park, and had plans this summer to form a “friends of” group.
“There has been a desire to clean up the park and trim back those hedges which make it secluded and dark,” he said.
“Unfortunately it is an area where there is drug use and drug dealing going on. Unfortunately we have found a large number of needles which we have reported through to the council to get them cleaned up.
“When I read about the shooting obviously I didn’t expect that in Norwich, but I can surmise what the motives might be.
“Anything like this is more akin to what we read about in Hackney and Haringey. You do not expect it in a leafy suburb of NR2 in west Norwich.”
Mr Schmierer also called for action after what is seen as an “escalation in violence”.
“It is clear we do need to have a long think about what the best way to tackle the gangs and associated drug trade really is,” he said. “It needs to be a long hard look at all the agencies, including the council, the police, the NHS and social services coming together and thinking about how best to combat this. There is not going to be a silver bullet that solves this but it is clear something has to be done about it.
“It is quite a harrowing tale that Norwich is seeing the sort of escalation in violence we have seen in other urban areas. The police are doing a fantastic job but what they seem to be doing is reacting to a problem that is spiralling out of control. I think we need to look at the national government and legislation to put more investment into the underlying causes of this drug-related violence.
“It is quite eye opening and quite shocking to hear of an incident like this in Norwich.”
Superintendent Roger Wiltshire said: “We understand the nature of this incident will cause concern in the local community. However, I would like to reassure local residents that we do not believe there is any risk to the wider public following this incident.
“The area has been sealed off for forensic enquiries to take place and we will have a number of police resources in the area throughout the day, including an increase in uniformed officers to provide reassurance.
“Enquiries are ongoing to find those responsible and I would ask anyone who was in the area at the time of the attack, or anyone who has information, to come forward as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information about the incident should contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting CAD reference 23 of today.