A review of Norfolk Police’s conduct has been released following the disorder in Cromer during its annual carnival this summer.
The event made national news on the weekend of August 18th-20th after multiple pubs, shops and restaurants closed their doors on what was set to be the busiest time of the year due to safety concerns. Incidences reported to the police included violence, threatening behavior, theft and a rape now believed to be linked to the event.
Many attendees of the event identified that the disruption was caused by the arrival of 25 motorhomes in possession of a group of people “unpopular with the wider travelling community”, something Norfolk Police had failed to do despite warnings from Suffolk Police that the group had caused similar problems there.
People were further disappointed when Norfolk Police took to Twitter to deem the situation as “low level”, despite the events of the weekend causing unrest to thousands of people, and losing several businesses.
However, Norfolk police’s deputy chief constable, Nick Dean said it would be “totally disproportionate” to blame the disorder at a seaside town on the whole Traveller community.
The report makes four key recommendations regarding the sharing of intelligence, leadership decisions, social media messages, and how unauthorised encampments are dealt with.
Details of these recommendations include plans to have more staff in charge of social media/media relations over weekends and a bigger emphasis on formally reporting communications between cross county police forces.
Chief Constable Simon Bailey said: “As I have said before, we got this wrong. I feel terribly sorry that the people of Cromer feel let down by our response. Moving forward, it is important that as an organisation we take any learning opportunities, put measures in place and make sure this doesn’t happen again.
“I have met with local councillors, business leaders and victims affected by the events of that August weekend, to explain the learning identified. We will continue to work with them to build and regain the communities’ confidence.”