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Norwich families urged to reclaim their streets

PUBLISHED: 15:51 20 December 2010

Families are being urged to reclaim ownership of their community as part of a new project.

The Heartsease and Thorpe Hamlet Safe Neighbourhood Team (SNT) is helping to launch a new initiative called ‘Streetwise’ on Thursday, January 20.

The project will involve motivated and capable people patrolling and responding to the needs of the community by walking round their neighbourhoods and reporting issues to the appropriate authorities. It will be done in pairs for a minimum of two hours per month.

The initiative will build on the East Norwich Youth Project which engages with the community, creating a positive impact.

Inspector Lisa Hooper, of the Heartsease and Thorpe Hamlet SNT, said “This is a fantastic way of meeting local residents in a relaxed setting and also getting them involved in helping out other members of the community.

“Streetwise will provide opportunities for cohesion, looks for ways to intervene to protect and reduce harm to vulnerable people.

“Creating the chance for the public to speak with someone from their own neighbourhood may encourage them to talk about any concerns they may have, when usually they wouldn’t.

“Many issues which affect our communities are about quality of life. Streetwise volunteers will do their bit to help by being a friendly face, a listening ear and a responsible citizen. There is already a lot of really good support available locally, but many people just don’t know where to start. Streetwise is an exciting way of encouraging communities to work together.”

Danny Doran-Smith, project director of ENYP, said “Streetwise will allow volunteers to be able to offer practical support for the people they meet and will also be able to take responsibility for reporting issues which need to be dealt with by the authorities, the police and the council.

“For example, if a Streetwise volunteer finds some graffiti or vandalism, they can make sure it gets reported to the right people at the council to deal with it. Streetwise volunteers can also help to engage with young or vulnerable people and offer support or advice about any issues which may be affecting them.”

Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North, said “The ENYP’s activities are always impressive and I’m confident the new Streetwise project will be a success in building on the many exciting things already going on in the area. I hear a lot about people’s hopes and worries in east Norwich, and with the best will in the world the police and the council can’t solve everything.

“Helping people regain a part in their own community through this venture will be a great new focus.”

Contact the Heartsease and Thorpe Hamlet SNT on 0845 456 4567.

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