In focus: Spotlight on police team in Spixworth, Sprowston and Old Catton
The Sprowston and Spixworth neighbourhood is located in Broadland district, to the east of Norwich.
It encompasses the areas of Sprowston, Spixworth, Old Catton and Beeston St Andrew. There are approximately 18,000 residents.
The area has several large retail outlets including Tesco superstore on Blue Boar Lane, Pinetrees Business Park and the Sprowston Retail Park. The area is served by Sprowston High School.
The team, led by Inspector Dave Cuff, is based at Sprowston Police Station on Wroxham Road. Crime is relatively low in the area with the minor incidents of anti-social behaviour being one of the main concerns for residents and the team continues to work with partner agencies to improve youth facilities in the area.
Police Community Support Officer Kane Casburn is working alongside Broadland District Council, Sprowston Town Council, the YMCA and the Matthew Project to establish the permanent youth club in the area and is encouraging local people to get involved.
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He said: 'We looking to recruit adult volunteers who could spare a few hours a week to help to support the project. Training and support will be provided and volunteers will be able to build on their knowledge and skills while also making a valuable contribution in the local community.'
Project leaders aim to get the club, aimed at 13-18-year-olds, up and running by August – either on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. All potential volunteers will be required to have a CRB check and provide a character reference and anyone interested in getting involved should contact PCSO Casburn on 101 or email Casburnk@norfolk.pnn.police.uk.
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Levels of anti-social behaviour have reduced significantly over the last two years and Insp Cuff explained the reduction was largely down to improved engagement with young people.
He said: 'We have forged closer links with schools in the area and officers have got to know local youngsters through patrols and these measures combined have helped to break down barriers.
'A couple of years ago the Recreation Ground was a hotspot for anti-social behaviour, however high-visibility targeted patrols while also educating young people about the potential consequences of their behaviour means we receive very few calls now.'
PC Keith Lambert has been on the beat in Sprowston for more than 20 years and said young people had 'worked incredibly hard' to address and understand issues surrounding anti-social behaviour.
He went on to explain how a group of pupils at Sprowston High School had been working on a project focusing on anti-social behaviour which had seen them complete surveys with local residents and members of the community. The results will be fed back at a special event at the school next month.
PC Lambert said: 'We have very few issues with young people gathering on street corners and causing problems and I would personally like to thank youngsters for their hard work in this project.'
Residents can have their say on community issues and help influence local priorities at the next Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel for the area on August 28 from 7.30pm – the venue is yet to be confirmed and more details will be released nearer the time.
The most recent priorities for the team have been:
To address issues around anti-social behaviour including underage drinking in and around Sprowston Recreation Ground and at the library.
To target speeding and inconsiderate parking in Oak Lane and Spixworth Road.
To address road safety issues near to and outside schools in the neighbourhood.
To contact the team call 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org