Expect more arrests over knife crime, police chief says
Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015
The county’s police chief has pledged to make more arrests over knife crime and drug dealing after the latest stabbing in the city.
Chief constable Simon Bailey has previously moved to reassure the public stabbings are usually confined to the “criminal fraternity”.
And after the latest stabbing in Norwich, around 5pm on Thursday evening at Goodman Square, Mr Bailey said while he will never wipe out knife crime, the public can “expect more arrests”.
“The whole premise of the new policing model was predicated on having an organisation that was going to be able to deal with the challenges of the changing face of crime,” he said.
“What people can expect is more and more people arrested for high harm and high risk offences. I am never going to be able to eradicate the drug problem or people carrying knives, because where there is demand there is always going to be supply.
“What we need to do is make sure our response to the threat is as comprehensive as possible in terms of the preventative element.
“That is not just police, that is public health, social care and education. Things are improving but they have still got some areas to catch up on. In the meantime there will be an incredibly robust response from us to make sure our communities feel safe.”
Mr Bailey added Norfolk is the eighth safest county in England and Wales, according to the latest Home Office figures.
The crime rate in Norfolk (crimes per 1,000 people), stands at 52.9. The highest is West Yorkshire with more than 100.
“I think the position we now find ourselves - in terms of crimes per 1,000 residents - is a really positive indicator of the success of the policing model,” added Mr Bailey. “The fact is we are robustly dealing with the threat of county lines, the threat of knife crime, and seeing more proactivity across Norfolk than we have in many years.
“We have 27 county lines operating in the county, which is significantly down on the numbers two years ago.
“We have significantly more officers dedicated to proactive policing and as a result we are able to hit those criminals who are dealing drugs, committing robberies to fund drug habits, or carrying knives.”
Since December 2016, 845 arrests have been made in connection with county lines drug dealing - an average of more than one arrest a day.