Anti-social behaviour, speeding and drugs are police priorities in town

Oliver Button, 32, who started as Swaffham's new beat manager this week.

Oliver Button, 32, started as Swaffham's new beat manager this week - Credit: Abigail Nicholson

Crime in a Norfolk town has moved from violence to criminal damage, burglary and vehicle offences over the last month, police have said.

Oliver Button, 32, Swaffham beat manager saying hello to residents in the town centre

Oliver Button, 32, Swaffham beat manager saying hello to residents in the town centre - Credit: Abigail Nicholson

Overall, crime in Swaffham had remained the same over the last month, BEAT manager Oliver Button said at a Wednesday meeting of the town's Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (SNAP).

But the most recent figures between February 22 and March 21 revealed a shift in offending from violence against a person to criminal damage, burglary and vehicle offences.

Anti-social behavior over the same period of time remained "exactly the same" in comparison with the previous month, but PC Button revealed the offences were slightly different.

Oliver Button, 32, Swaffham beat manager on patrol in The Shambles

Oliver Button, 32, Swaffham beat manager on patrol in The Shambles - Credit: Abigail Nicholson

He said: "We have moved away from groups congregating and littering to instances of vehicle nuisance and inappropriate use of vehicles.

"I understand that the last meeting that was had was a Breckland generic meeting at the tail end of last year and there was a vote there on some quite generic priorities.

"We're going to take the opportunity now to have a clean slate and fresh start in Swaffham, and hopefully coming out of lockdown we can start to talking about some Swaffham-specific priorities."

Over the last week, Breckland Police put out a poll on Twitter, which 18 people responded to.

Some 50pc of respondents said anti-social behavior was a priority, 28pc speeding was their main issue and 22pc said drug misuse should be looked at by the force.

During the meeting, Independent Breckland councillor for Swaffham, David Wickerson said he had multiple residents come to him who had witnessed drug dealing near their homes.

Independent district councillor for Swaffham David Wickerson

Independent district councillor for Swaffham David Wickerson - Credit: David Wickerson

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He said: "At least three residents have approached me with concerns about what they have seen going on, in one particular occasion they were verbally abused because they tried to intervene."

Breckland Conservative councillor for Nar Valley, Peter Wilkinson, brought up the issue of speeding in the parishes surrounding Swaffham and asked if the team would be able to visit these areas.

Breckland councillor Peter Wilkinson

Breckland councillor Peter Wilkinson - Credit: Submitted

PC Button confirmed he would visit all of the parishes and ask fellow road officers to look into the issue.

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