Police to carry out extra patrols in Thetford following anti-social behaviour concerns raised by the community

King Street in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

King Street in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca Murphy - Credit: Archant

Extra police patrols will be carried out in the centre of Thetford after residents raised concerns about anti-social behaviour.

Chief inspector Paul Wheatley.

Chief inspector Paul Wheatley. - Credit: Archant

Over the last month a number of complaints have been made to police about incidents of anti-social behaviour involving youths congregating in Thetford town centre.

Last weekend (January 13 and 14) a dispersal area was put in place leading to one young person being arrested for possession of an offensive weapon and three more being detained and taken to their parents.

Chief Insp Paul Wheatley, district commander for Breckland Police, said: “Overall there has been a reduction in anti-social behaviour in Thetford over the last year. However, it is clear the trend of anti-social behaviour in the town centre continues.

“There are a small minority that give the youth a bad name. I would like the parents to reinforce the message to their children that anti-social behaviour is unacceptable.”

Police will be carrying out extra patrols in the town centre over the coming weeks.

Chief Insp Wheatley added: “Anti-social behaviour remains a focus for policing in the town. We’ve had several reports of groups gathering in the centre, being aggressive towards members of the public and committing crimes. These patrols hope to tackle that.

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“Once this initial phase is complete we will increase our response to tackle those who persistently offend and take appropriate action. This may include prosecution, civil injunctions and offering support through our partners.”

Jordan Baker, who works at the Riverside Complex, said he was harassed when leaving work by a group of 20 boys and girls aged between 10 and 16-years-old on Saturday, January 13.

The 20-year-old said: “I was pushed and shoved and had comments said about me. They know me as I have already called the police on them before.

“If it is just one of them that is nothing but when you have got 20 people, especially against one, they pose some sort of threat.”

Mr Baker claims he saw the same youths intimidating four other youngsters a short time before his run-in with them and had called the police.

He added: “Unfortunately they are going to mess with the wrong person and somebody is going to get hurt.”