Neighbours Help Police Patrols

23 January 2011, 06:00

We might start seeing our neighbours patrolling our streets in the future.

A new scheme called Streetwise is being trialled in part of Norfolk which gets people to help police and councils by finding problem areas where they live

The project will involve motivated and capable people looking after the local community by patrolling around their neighbourhoods and reporting any issues. It will be done in pairs, for a minimum of 2 hours per month.  Heartsease and Thorpe Hamlet Safe Neighbourhood Team (SNT) have already started it this week with around 20 people taking part. If it’s successful it could be rolled out to other areas.

They hope it will build on the East Norwich Youth Project (ENYP) which is already in existence which engages with the community creating a positive impact.

Inspector Lisa Hooper from Heartsease and Thorpe Hamlet SNT told Heart: "There's always a danger if you challenge someone about their behaviour that they might not respect your right to challenge them, but our volunteers are not have-a-go heroes, they're not vigilantes, they're not people who are going to get involved. It's about ordinary citizens wanting to take responsibility to make sure things get sorted out."

She also told us that they aren't there to replace officers who are already there: "Police officers aren't subject to any cuts at the moment in terms of our numbers, but we're not recruiting anyone for the next few years and so it's really important that the resources we do have go to the places they are most needed. Streetwise can actually help us identify where they are most needed."

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