Norfolk

Cromer disorder: Norfolk Police chief sorry for response

Simon Bailey
Image caption Simon Bailey has been Norfolk Police Chief Constable since 2013

The Chief Constable of Norfolk Police says the force needs to regain the public's trust following the way it handled the "lockdown" in Cromer.

There were 37 crimes recorded in the seaside town last weekend - including a rape - which residents linked to a group of travellers.

Venues said they closed for the "safety of customers and staff" but police described it as "low-level disorder".

Police chief Simon Bailey said that was the "wrong message to put out".

Image caption There were 37 crimes recorded in Cromer over the weekend

He said he has appointed a detective chief superintendent to review how the police responded to reports of intimidation, theft and aggressive behaviour.

Mr Bailey said the review would be made public to help Norfolk communities "understand what went wrong, because something quite clearly went wrong".

"The fact is that a number of tourists, residents and business owners feel terribly let down by the constabulary," he said.

"At the moment I've lost their trust and their confidence and I'm very, very sorry and understand why they feel that way."

Image caption North Norfolk District Council said travellers were illegally camped on a seafront car park

Following the trouble, North Norfolk District Council has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, to ask to be able to move travellers on if they do not use provided stopping places.

About 23 caravans arrived in the town on Friday and parked illegally at Runton Road cliff-top car park.

People in the town said members of the travelling community had been "intimidating" and "rowdy", had not paid for drinks in pubs and been abusive.

One man was arrested in connection with the rape on Friday night. He has been released under investigation.

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