Norfolk Constabulary

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Norfolk Constabulary
Norfolk Constabulary logo.svg
Common nameNorfolk Police
MottoOur Priority is You
Agency overview
Preceding agencies
  • Norfolk Joint Constabulary
  • Norwich City Police
  • Great Yarmouth Borough Police
  • 1,921 police constables
  • 1,226 police staff
  • 179 special constables
  • 100 police support volunteers
Annual budget£193.7 Million (approx)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionNorfolk, England, UK
England Police Forces (Norfolk).svg
Map of police area
Size2,079 square miles (5,380 km2)[1]
Legal jurisdictionEngland & Wales
Constituting instrument
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed by
  • 1,921 Police Constables
  • 179 Special Constables
Police and Crime Commissioner responsible
  • Giles Orpen-Smellie
Agency executive
  • Paul Sanford, Chief Constable
Website Edit this at Wikidata

Norfolk Constabulary is the territorial police force responsible for policing Norfolk in East Anglia, England. The force serves a population of 908,000 in a mostly rural area of 2,079 square miles (5,380 km2),[1] including 90 miles (140 km) of coastline and 16 rivers, including the Broads National Park.[2] Headquartered in Wymondham, Norfolk is responsible for the City of Norwich, along with King's Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Thetford. As of September 2022, the force has a strength of 1,921 police constables,[3] and as of March 2022, 179 special constables, 1,226 police staff/designated officers, and 100 police support volunteers.[4] The chief constable is currently Paul Sanford, and the police and crime commissioner is Giles Orpen-Smellie (Conservative).[5][6]


Norfolk Constabulary is responsible for policing Norfolk's four major settlements, the City of Norwich, King's Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Thetford, along with the Brecklands, the Broadlands and North Norfolk.[7]

It is also responsible for Norfolk's 90 miles (140 km) of coastline,[8] along with 16 rivers, including 120 miles (190 km) of navigable waters in The Broads.[8]

RAF Marham, one of the Royal Air Force's Main Operating Bases and home to the F-35 Stealth Fighters, is based in Norfolk.[9]

Sandringham Estate[edit]

Norfolk Constabulary has a responsibility for policing and security (through its own Royalty Protection Unit) of the Sandringham Estate, one of only two personal/private residences owned directly by The Royal Family.[10][11][12]

Eastern Region Special Operations Unit[edit]

Created in 2010, ERSOU is funded by the seven police forces that make up the eastern region, with Bedfordshire Police being the lead force. It is primarily responsible for the combined Regional Organised Crime Unit and Counter Terrorism Policing.[13]


Norfolk & Suffolk collaboration[edit]

Norfolk Constabulary and Suffolk Constabulary, the force bordering to the south, have collaborated numerous services together since 2010. An extensive programme of collaborative work has already delivered a number of joint units and departments in areas such as Major Investigations, Protective Services, Custody, Transport, HR, Finance and ICT.[14] Around £16 million has been saved by pooling resources with Suffolk.[15]

7 Force / Eastern Region collaboration[edit]

The 7 Force Collaboration Programme includes Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent police forces.  This strategic collaboration programme was established in 2015 to develop and implement successful collaborative solutions to protect the frontline local delivery of policing. It collaborates on areas including Procurement, Training, Firearms, Driver Management, Digital Assets, Vetting and Forensics, along with ERSOU.[16]

Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service collaboration[edit]

2015 and 2016 respectively saw the relocation of the fire and rescue analysts team and senior management team to Norfolk Constabulary's Operations and Communications Centre (OCC) in Wymondham. This was followed in 2019 with emergency operators from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service being co-located within the Contact & Control Room (CCR) at OCC.[17]


19th and 20th centuries[edit]

Norfolk Constabulary was founded in 1839 under the County Police Act 1839, and was one of the first county forces to be formed.

In 1965, it had an establishment of 636 officers and an actual strength of 529.[18] In 1968 it amalgamated with Norwich City Police and Great Yarmouth Borough Police to form the Norfolk Joint Constabulary. In 1974, it returned to the present name Norfolk Constabulary.

21st century[edit]

Norfolk Police car pictured in 2019

In March 2006, proposals were made by the Home Secretary which would see the force merge with neighbouring forces Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Suffolk Constabulary to form a strategic police force for East Anglia.[19] The Norfolk Police Authority was enthusiastic for the merger, but the neighbouring forces were not. With the announcement in July 2006 by the Home Office that the principle of merger was under review, the Norfolk Constabulary announced their intention to recruit a permanent Chief Constable, a process that they had delayed while merger was likely.

In 2008, the force changed uniforms to black combat style trousers with a polo shirt but reverted to the more traditional white shirt and tie on a trial basis in November 2012.[20] It has since reverted to the polo shirt.

In 2018, Norfolk abolished its use of PCSOs and made all of its remaining PCSOs redundant. It became the first police force in England to do this.[21][22] The loss of PCSOs had allowed Norfolk Police to recruit 97 new staff, including 81 police officers. A 5.5pc rise in the police precept of council tax led to a further 17 police officers and six staff being hired.[23]

2019 saw the UK Prime Minister announce that 20,000 new police officers would be recruited as part of a national uplift programme. Norfolk had been allocated 224 of those new officers.[24]

2020/2021 saw almost half of all new Police Officer recruits being female. Since the Government uplift programme began, Norfolk had recruited 211 additional officers as of May 2022, bringing the force strength up to 1,888 police officers.[25][26]

In 2022, Norfolk begun training recruits under the new Police Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) from its new training centre at Hethersett Old Hall,[27] which sees a partnership of training with Anglia Ruskin University.[28]

Chief constables[edit]

Officers killed in the line of duty[edit]

The Police Roll of Honour Trust and Police Memorial Trust list and commemorate all British police officers killed in the line of duty. Since its establishment in 1984, the Police Memorial Trust has erected 50 memorials nationally to some of those officers.

The following officers of Norfolk Constabulary are just two[clarification needed] of those from the force that have been killed in the line of duty:[31]

  • PC Charles William Alger, 1909 (shot)
  • PC Robert Craig Orr McLaren, 1981 (his vehicle crashed during a police pursuit)

Governance and budget[edit]

Since 2021, the force has been overseen by military veteran Giles Orpen-Smellie (Conservative) who is the Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner.[6] Since 2021, the Chief Constable is Paul Sanford.[5]

Norfolk Constabulary's Budget for 2022/2023 is £193.7 million, a rise of £10.6 million from the previous year.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Norfolk Constabulary". HMICFRS. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  2. ^ "Norfolk Rivers Trust | Rivers". Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Police officer uplift, quarterly update to September 2022". GOV.UK. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  4. ^ "Police workforce, England and Wales: 31 March 2022". GOV.UK. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Moxon, Daniel (1 July 2021). "Vow to make police 'visible and accessible' on new chief's first day". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Giles Orpen-Smellie delighted to become Norfolk's new PCC". Norfolk PCC. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  7. ^ "District Councils Map". Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Coast". Visit Norfolk. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  9. ^ "Royal Air Force". Royal Air Force. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  10. ^ "Police seek officers to join Sandringham protection unit". ITV News. 10 April 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  11. ^ "Norfolk police chief responsible for security at Sandringham quits job • The Crown Chronicles". The Crown Chronicles. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Our people". Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  13. ^ "About us | ERSOU". Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  14. ^ "Collaboration". Norfolk PCC. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  15. ^ Gilbert, Dominic (15 May 2018). "No more "big ticket" savings to be made in Norfolk and Suffolk police collaboration". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  16. ^ "Collaboration". Norfolk PCC. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  17. ^ Walsh, Peter (2 July 2019). "Police and fire service now sharing the same Norfolk headquarters". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  18. ^ The Thin Blue Line, Police Council for Great Britain Staff Side Claim for Undermanning Supplements, 1965
  19. ^ "UK | UK Politics | Police forces 'to be cut to 24'". BBC News. 20 March 2006. Archived from the original on 12 March 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  20. ^ "Norfolk police uniform shirts set for switch". BBC News. 20 November 2012. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  21. ^ "Abolition of PCSOs plan going ahead". 29 March 2018. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  22. ^ "Police force that axed PCSOs takes on zero-hours 'scene guards'". 7 February 2019.
  23. ^ Gilbert, Dominic (29 March 2018). "Norfolk 2020 - 101 job losses announced as axe falls on PCSOs". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  24. ^ "Norfolk's PCC and Chief Constable address policing and crime issues". Norfolk PCC. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  25. ^ Parkin, Simon (6 November 2021). "Norfolk police boosts number of female officers, figures reveal". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  26. ^ "James Wild MP praises recruitment of extra 200 police officers in Norfolk". James Wild. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  27. ^ Steward, Peter (9 August 2021). "Inside new police training centre - with its own bar, cafe and apartment". Norwich Evening News. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  28. ^ "Chief welcomes recruits under new training programme". Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  29. ^ "Chief Constable Norfolk County Constabulary 1909-1915". 25 January 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  30. ^ "Captain Stephen Hugh Van Neck CVO, MC, Chief Constable, Norfolk (1928–1956)". ARTUK. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  31. ^ Lest we Forget. Norfolk Constabulary, 5 December 2006. Internet Archive. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  32. ^ "Police budget and council tax". Norfolk PCC. Retrieved 24 June 2022.


  • A Movable Rambling Police: An Official History of Policing in Norfolk, by Brian David Butcher published by the Norfolk Constabulary and printed in King's Lynn in 1989 no ISBN

External links[edit]