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'A night like no other.' West Norfolk police boss says evening of two murders 'unprecedented' in 20-year career



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The head of community policing in West Norfolk has described last night's two murder incidents in the borough as "unprecedented" during his 20-year career in the force.

Three men remain in custody tonight following the incidents in Downham and West Winch on Sunday evening.

Additional officers have also been patrolling in both areas today in a bid to reassure the wider public in an operation that is set to continue over the next few days.

The scene in Bulrush Avenue, Downham, where a murder investigation is underway following a man's death (54443249)
The scene in Bulrush Avenue, Downham, where a murder investigation is underway following a man's death (54443249)

Superintendent Wes Hornigold, local policing commander for West Norfolk and Breckland, said a short time ago that officers were confident there was no wider threat to public safety.

He also confirmed there are no suspects at large relating to either case and reiterated that the deaths are not connected to one another.

Supt Hornigold said: "Having two such cases as this just doesn't happen in West Norfolk. This is out of the ordinary.

A murder investigation is underway after a woman died in a disturbance in Leete Way, West Winch (54443742)
A murder investigation is underway after a woman died in a disturbance in Leete Way, West Winch (54443742)

"West Norfolk is a very safe locality. We have had additional officers in both locations today to answer questions, engage with people and provide a bit of reassurance to let them know they're safe.

"I have been a police officer for 20 years and I have never experienced two such tragic incidents the like of which happened last night."

Police were initially called to Leete Way in West Winch at around 7.30pm on Sunday, following reports of a disturbance and a woman being hit by a car.

A woman in her late teens was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn, where she was subsequently pronounced dead.

Supt Wes Hornigold.
Supt Wes Hornigold.

A 44-year-old man remains in police custody, having been arrested on suspicion of murder, causing death by dangerous driving and drink-driving.

Later, shortly before 8pm, officers were called to another disturbance at a house in Bulrush Avenue, Downham.

A 39-year-old man was found with serious head injuries. Despite the efforts of police and paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say his next-of-kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

Two men, aged 47 and 22, who were arrested on suspicion of murder, are still being questioned.

Post-mortem examinations in both cases are expected to be carried out within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Supt Hornigold added: “We recognise the timing and proximity of both incidents may lead to wider concern in our communities.

“However, I would stress they are separate investigations and are not connected in any way. Such circumstances are unusual for Norfolk and we will have additional high-visibility patrols in both areas over the coming days.”

Although detectives have already spoken to a number of witnesses, anyone who believes they may have information or CCTV relevant to the Downham inquiry, is asked to contact the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team on 101, quoting Operation Modem.

Material can also be shared via the Major Investigation Team police portal here.



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