Parents in Thorpe St Andrew taught a lesson as police look to get tough on school parking
The Thorpe St Andrew neighbourhood is located in Broadland District, situated two miles east of Norwich city centre.
It comprises the two parishes of Thorpe St Andrew and Postwick with Witton. There are approximately 14,000 residents with an ever-growing 6,500 homes.
Within the neighbourhood are three main industrial areas providing employment – St Andrews Business Park, Meridian Business Park and Broadland Business Park. Sainsbury's supermarket is located in Pound Lane.
The area is served by Thorpe St Andrew High School. The team, led by Inspector Dave Cuff, is based at Sprowston police station. PC Malcolm Sneesby has recently taken over as neighbourhood beat manager from PC Samantha Stolworthy, who has moved to another role within the force.
The team has been working closely with local schools over the last few months in order to address concerns around illegal and irresponsible parking, which is currently a priority for the team.
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In May school-run mums and dads were given a telling-off by children from St Williams Primary School in a bid to educate drivers about the importance of safe and responsible parking.
Pupils dressed in high-visibility jackets stood outside the school gates, warning and advising drivers about their parking. Safer parking posters, designed by children as part of a competition, were also displayed in the local area.
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Insp Cuff said: 'We want to make sure parents and guardians collecting children from school are fully aware about the importance of safe parking and who better to get the message across than the children themselves.'
He added that officers would continue to work closely with schools and that a safer school parking partnership was being considered. Crime in the neighbourhood remains relatively low and while the team continues to deal with minor anti-social behaviour, incidents of underage street drinking and associated criminal damage have significantly reduced.
Insp Cuff said: 'A couple of years ago we were often dealing with youngsters street drinking and problems with alcohol-fuelled crime.
'These types of incidents have a major impact on the community and people's quality of life and we've been able to reduce alcohol-related anti-social behaviour by targeting high-visibility patrols in problem areas and confiscating drink from teenagers.'
Officers also took part in school assemblies in a bid to educate youngsters about the dangers of alcohol and the consequences of committing offences.
Insp Cuff added: 'We operated a three-strike rule, where youths found with alcohol could eventually end up before the courts and we very rarely got beyond stage one where teenagers were given words of advice before having the drink confiscated.'
Earlier in the year the team carried out an operation to improve awareness around vehicle security following a spate of thefts from unlocked cars.
Officers carried out patrols in busy areas, advising drivers about the trend and giving crime prevention advice.
Insp Cuff said: 'Simple lapses in security such as leaving a car door unlocked can end up causing great inconvenience to motorists in terms of insurance and replacing stolen items.
'It's worth taking the extra time to make sure vehicles are secure as thieves will not be afraid to try car doors until they find one which is open.'
Residents living in the neighbourhood can have their on local issues and help influence policing priorities at the next safer neighbourhood action panel meeting at Roxley Hall, Yarmouth Road, Thorpe St Andrew on Tuesday, July 31 at 7.30pm.
To contact the team call 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org