Police and Crime Commissioner promises a ‘visible, accessible, and accountable’ force

Norfolk Police and Crime Commisssioner Lorne Green.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk Police and Crime Commisssioner Lorne Green.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A top police official in Norfolk has pledged to make the force more 'visible, accessible and accountable'.

It comes following a public question and answer session with the county's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Lorne Green, at The Queen's Hall, in Watton.

More than 50 members of the public attended the event, which is the first of its kind for this year.

It is part of Mr Green's commitment to give the public access to Norfolk's senior officers.

Mr Green was joined by chief constable Simon Bailey, chief executive Mark Stokes, deputy chief constable Nick Dean and chief inspector Paul Wheatley.

The session was an opportunity for people share views, issues or concerns about crime and policing in their area.

The panel were grilled over issues such as lack of police presence 'out on the beat', problems with the non-emergency telephone number 101, street drinking, rural crime, and support for victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

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Mr Bailey addressed concerns over less officers being seen on the street.

'The world is changing and I have seen a huge shift in the crime profile,' he said.

'I now have the challenge where reports of domestic abuse is the biggest issue I'm faced with.

'The changing face of crime means the police force has to adapt accordingly.'

Mr Green also highlighted the growing problem and added: 'There is an epidemic, a tsunami, of sexual abuse and domestic abuse reported.'

Following concerns from a number of people about long 101 call response times, Mr Bailey was quick to debunk the claims and praised the efficiency of the call handlers. However, he did apologise to individuals who appeared to have been victims of poor communication following calls to 101, and promised to feedback the issues raised.

Finally he urged people to report all and any crime they were faced with.

At the end of the meeting the panel was praised for the 'continuous hard work' carried out by its officers, by members of the public.

Ahead of the session, Mr Green spent the afternoon meeting with local people in the area, including staff and pupils at Wayland Academy and residents in the Watton area.