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Great Yarmouth council leader hits back at county councillor’s ‘crime wave’ claim

PUBLISHED: 16:12 07 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:21 07 February 2017

Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader Graham Plant. Picture: Denise Bradley

Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader Graham Plant. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant 2012

Great Yarmouth’s council leader has hit back at claims there is a “crime wave” in the town, after a county councillor called on Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) to tackle the issue.

County councillor Jonathon Childs has called on PCC Lorne Green to tackle crime in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Norfolk County Council/Antony Kelly County councillor Jonathon Childs has called on PCC Lorne Green to tackle crime in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Norfolk County Council/Antony Kelly

Jonathon Childs, UKIP councillor for East Flegg, wrote to PCC Lorne Green after it emerged yesterday that police were investigating a serious sexual assault in the grounds of the town’s minster.

It follows reports of a man in his 60s being robbed at a town centre cash point in the early evening.

And last week a woman was assaulted and robbed while walking through an alleyway in broad daylight.

In the letter, Mr Childs said: “Can I please ask for an urgent meeting regarding the crime wave that seems to be engulfing Great Yarmouth?

“Lots of worried residents are contacting me by email, text, and social media.

“I do understand the budgetary constraints forced upon the emergency services and I am in no way critiquing their dedication to their duty.

“But as an elected member I must pass on the genuine concerns of the people of my parishes, the people of Great Yarmouth and the people of the fine county of Norfolk.

“It saddens me to trouble you as you are working hard to stamp out the issues that blight my area, but enough is enough. We as a community say enough is enough we want our beautiful districts to be safe.”

But Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader Graham Plant said there was not a crime wave, and that three police appeals in the last week did not warrant claims that there was one.

“Norfolk is one of the safest places to live in England, and crime statistics for Great Yarmouth are going down,” he said.

“I look at these things on a regular basis, they are on the way down, the police are working hand in hand with the council. We’re no worse than anywhere else in the country.

“For a county councillor to say it’s a crime wave because of three appeals, I think it’s appalling.”

Mr Green welcomed the letter, and said he would be happy to set up a meeting between himself, Mr Childs and local police officers.

He added: “I devote considerable attention to Great Yarmouth and surrounding areas and have a monthly column in the Great Yarmouth Mercury.

“In November 2016, I hosted a public meeting at the Great Yarmouth Town Hall to allow the community at large to meet with the Chief Constable and me to discuss issues of crime prevention and policing.

“It was a very successful meeting with good attendance.

“It is important that we continue to work together to reassure the local community and make sure they are being kept informed of the positive and proactive work that is going on to tackle crime in their area.”

• What do you think should be done about crime in the town? Email geraldine.scott@archant.co.uk

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