City violence related to yobs 'who know each other'

Superintendent Terry Lordan has spoken about the recent stabbings and criminal behaviour in Prince of Wales Road 

Superintendent Terry Lordan has spoken about the recent stabbings and criminal behaviour in Prince of Wales Road - Credit: Archant

A spate of violent crime in the city centre is linked to gang activity - with police bosses confirming those involved are "known to each other".

Speaking exclusively to the Evening News, city police chief Terry Lordan assured the city that the vast majority of people are safe on a night out.

He was speaking after three men were stabbed in an altercation outside Bar and Beyond just before 12.35am on Saturday, October 9.

Recent incidents in Norwich have seen one man charged with grievous bodily harm and possession of a knife and another arrested on suspicion of robbery and possession of a firearm.

Superintendent Terry Lordan, Norfolk Constabularys district commander for Norwich. Picture: Nick But

Norwich superintendent Terry Lordan - Credit: Nick Butcher

And just last month this paper obtained images of a man brandishing a gun on a petrol forecourt. 

Supt Lordan said: "Anyone who comes into that night-time economy with a view to causing trouble or disruption will be dealt with in an effective way by the local policing team.

"There have been a small number of isolated incidents. We have arrested and charged people for these and they are known to police.

"This is not a case of people being randomly assaulted. These are incidents where the victims and offenders are known to each other.

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"We have left no stone unturned with our investigations." 

Police figures show there have been 120 fewer violent crimes recorded across Norwich over the last 12 months.

Families and businesses on Prince of Wales have spoken of closing time chaos.

Prince of Wales Road in Norwich - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

And Supt Lordan emphasised the city has Purple Flag status - a national award which shows it meets or surpasses the standards of excellence in managing the night-time economy.

Supt Terry Lordan is the new District Commander for Norwich Police.Picture: Nick Butcher

Supt Terry Lordan has reassured the public Prince of Wales and the city remain safe destinations at night - Credit: Nick Butcher

The summer also saw an increased number of officers with up to 30 officers on patrol for Saturday nights. 

Key upcoming dates such as Halloween will see more officers deployed to offer reassurance and protection to clubbers. 

Supt Lordan added: "The policing numbers are absolutely appropriate to the number of incidents we have.

"We can ask people to leave without enforcing an arrest. We use this as an early stage of interaction.

"If someone is too intoxicated we can ask them to leave and use preventative tools to prevent someone being assaulted four hours later." 

Taxi shortage concern 

Cab firms have warned for weeks that a driver shortage is causing chaos for their businesses - and there are knock-on effects for the police as well. 

Assistant chief constable Nick Davidson said people can "compete" for taxis as they spill out of clubs, resulting in "mini scuffles". 

He added: "We have picked up from our colleagues on the ground in terms of the weekend debrief that there is still a bit of a struggle sometimes.

"It will be interesting now furlough has finished whether that will see more people become taxi drivers." 

The cost of getting a taxi in Norwich could be about to go up for the first time in four years. Pict

The cost of getting a taxi in Norwich could be about to go up for the first time in four years. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Supt Lordan implored people to plan in advance if they know they need to book a taxi rather than leaving it until the last minute.

He added: "There are a variety of reasons for a reduction in taxi capacity and that is clearly a flashpoint for our night-time economy - the pinch point of getting home.

"If you are coming into the city, feel reassured it is safe but always to plan how to get home. If you do not book a taxi you could be waiting a few hours for a lift."