'Debilitating fear': Call for urgent action over weapons rise in city ward

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis is among those who have raised concerns over an increase in weapons in the Mancroft ward 

Clive Lewis is among those who have raised concerns over an increase in weapons in the Mancroft ward. Pictured: Operation Sceptre saw thousands of knives handed in to amnesty bins. - Credit: Archant

A spike in crime in a city ward has left a community in fear and victims 'psychologically scarred'.

The latest figures for the 12 months up to August 2021 shows the Mancroft ward has had the most instances of weapons possession in Norwich

A total of 36 crimes occurred in Mancroft, ahead of Thorpe Hamlet with 31, then Mile Cross with 15. 

Mr Lewis said: "Victims are left scarred, sometimes physically, almost always psychologically.

"The fear of violent crime, and the perception that it’s on the rise, can debilitate local communities. 

"It really doesn’t have to be like this. There is plentiful evidence of what the root causes are and examples from around the world of how how best to combat violent crime.

Labour's Clive Lewis. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis - Credit: Archant

"Countries with lower rates of inequality, social deprivation and associated mental health problems are the countries with the least crime."

Although Mr Lewis did not link increased weapons possession to drug crime, he believes that the UK could benefit from using narcotics policies employed overseas. 

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The spike in knife-related crimes has raised alarm among those living in the area. 

This includes Alex Catt, 24, of Prince of Wales Road, who said: "Up until recently I thought this city was pretty safe but there has been a spike in crime which is scary.

"It's worrying to see, especially when there are so many people out on these busy nights in the city."

Alexander Catt, who was recently the victim of a homophobic attack in Norwich

Alex Catt, who lives in Prince of Wales Road - Credit: Alexander Catt

Martin Schmierer, city councillor for the Mancroft ward, said: "Sadly studies have shown it is often the poorest areas, as well as those with the highest levels of drug addiction, that are the ones which suffer the most from gang violence and have high rates of weapons possession."

Mancroft ward councillor Martin Schmierer.
Picture: Simon Finlay

Mancroft ward councillor Martin Schmierer. Picture: Simon Finlay - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

And as a result ward councillors have called for more secure entry systems for blocks of flats in these areas, as well as improved CCTV and a health-based approaches to drugs issues.

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