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Minister praises neighbourhood policing

PUBLISHED: 09:56 14 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:40 03 July 2010

Government Home Office minister Vernon Coaker hailed the work of neighbourhood policing in Norfolk as an example to the rest of the country.

Mr Coaker visited the neighbourhood Comeunity Centre in King Street, Yarmouth, on Thursday and learned how it had become a multi-agency hub where local residents could meet representatives of the borough council, Citizens Advice Bureau and other bodies as well as the police.

Government Home Office minister Vernon Coaker hailed the work of neighbourhood policing in Norfolk as an example to the rest of the country.

Mr Coaker visited the neighbourhood Comeunity Centre in King Street, Yarmouth, on Thursday and learned how it had become a multi-agency hub where local residents could meet representatives of the borough council, Citizens Advice Bureau and other bodies as well as the police.

Borough council neighbourhood manager Rob Gregory told him how centre volunteers had been trained to take down reports of crimes and concerns for the police. And local safer neighbourhood team Sgt Dan Smith said it “gave people confidence to feel they can report crime”.

“It is a good half-way house if people are a bit nervous about visiting us at the police station. The idea started slowly but we have begun to get the message out and it has picked up promisingly,” he said.

Mr Coaker, visiting Yarmouth to mark the first anniversary of the neighbourhood policing structure in Norfolk, said a mark of its success was that crime had fallen significantly in the town.

He said: “The safer neighbourhood teams have been instrumental in bringing that about. The model has been very successful across Norfolk.

“One of the important things is that PCSOs are integrated as part of the team with volunteers playing their part too. It is partnership working that has brought about these improvements and something the rest of the country can learn from.”

Mr Coaker met local youngsters - the Revolution Skate Squad - who have raised £160,000 to fund a new skate park in the town.

Learning that building work was set to start in June, he said: “We hear a lot of negative things about young people, but this has given them the opportunity to show what they can do, and it will give young people something to do.”

He praised the fact the youngsters themselves had played the biggest part in bringing it about, aided by MP Tony Wright, the council and police.


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