Brexit fears over race-hate crime rise in King's Lynn
A Lynn police officer has said Brexit could be contributing to an increase in racial-hate crimes this year.
PC Lee Anderton, an engagement officer for Norfolk Police, said such crimes have risen to 18 in Lynn compared to eight last year, up to March 1.
He told a borough council committee on Monday that impending Brexit may be to blame and there was a similar hike after the referendum in 2016.
PC Anderton said: “A Chinese group from the UEA had the biggest problem we found.
“Now I was not the best at Geography at school but I know China is not in the European Union!”
During West Norfolk Council’s Lynn area consultative committee meeting, PC Anderton said crime has slightly come down overall.
Household burglaries for example have reduced from 73 last year to 53 this year. Criminal damage has also gone down to 279 compared to “well over 300” last year, the committee heard.
But, possession of weapons has increased to 27 compared to 18 at this stage last year.
PC Anderton also said anti-social youths are still congregating around the town’s bus station.
He said: “We can’t put fences up so we have got to keep getting into them and making their life hard and a misery.”
Councillor Lesley Bambridge suggested introducing classical music at the bus station as a way of deterring the youths from causing disruption.
She said: “Playing classical music in the bus station would get rid of the youths straight away.
“I am being serious. It has been used in other towns with great success like Burnley.”
Councillor Thomas Smith questioned whether police officers would be able to take the youths home themselves when they are caught in the act.
In response, PC Anderton said: “Unfortunately there is very little support if we do that. There is more abuse from the parents of the child for daring to accuse their child.
“Youngsters were out even on Christmas Day. Why they would do that beggars belief.”
He added that a lot of the anti-social behaviour had been during the Christmas period. Anti-social behaviour crimes have increased to 75 compared to 55 last year.