A review has criticised Norfolk Police's response to disorder caused by a group of travellers in the north Norfolk town of Cromer in August.
It says police didn't realise the effect the travellers were having on the local community, not enough resources were sent to deal with problems and statements made by the force on social media were ill judged.
The Chief Constable has admitted the response was wrong and is pledging to learn from the force's mistakes.
A number of recommendations have been made following the review, falling into four categories:
- The flow of information and intelligence within the Constabulary
- Leadership decisions
- Media response
- Protocols for dealing with unauthorised encampments
The review suggests that had the Constabulary been in a position to understand the collective impact of the group's behaviour on the community and understood the tension it was causing, it would have recognised the need to identify a specific response and apply appropriate command structures, officers and tactics.
It also said the force misread the significance of events and provided an ill-judged statement on social media referring to the disorder as 'low level'.
"As I have said before, we got this wrong and 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."
The Chief Constable of Norfolk Police apologises for the way the community was let down after troubles in Cromer
It comes after a weekend of disruption in the seaside town of Cromer, which was put into ‘lockdown’ as a result of antisocial behaviour.
Norfolk Police were warned a group of travellers who had been causing disturbances in Suffolk could be on their way to the county.