'Use them or lose them' warning over Norwich police meetings
Sam EmanuelA civic leader is urging people to take advantage of the opportunity to direct the work of the police after attendance at public meetings dropped by two thirds in two years.Sam Emanuel
A civic leader is urging people to take advantage of the opportunity to direct the work of the police after attendance at public meetings dropped by two thirds in two years.
Julian Foster, chairman of the City Centre Safer Neighbourhoods Action Panel (Snap), said that when the meetings began two years ago, there would be more than 75 people at each meeting, but there are now just 20 to 30 people at each one.
A City Centre Snap meeting at the Friends Meeting House in Upper Goat Lane was attended by just 11 members of the public this week.
Today he issued a 'use it or lose it' message, saying that as the police are having to cut spending, the meetings could be one of the things to go if people stop attending.
He said: 'We are finding that residents attending recent meetings have been fewer and fewer which I hope reflects the fact that they feel satisfied with what we are doing but may, in fact, display indifference.
'It's a wonderful opportunity to influence the way the police work and what their priorities are, and if people don't turn up they aren't going to be able to take advantage of the availability of the police, and can't moan when they don't agree with how things are done. There is no point in us having the meetings if no-one turns up - it puts the whole scheme at risk.
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'When we started we had upwards of 75 people, but over the two years that has now dropped to 20 to 30, which I think is a real shame.'
Inspector Lisa Hooper, from the City Centre Snap, added her voice to calls for more people to attend the meetings.
She said: 'The more people that come, the better service we can deliver. If people don't tell us what their concerns are, we won't be able to help them, so we are looking at people playing a more active part in the policing of their communities.'
Details of local Snap meetings can be found online at www.norfolk.police.uk/.
Have you done something good for your community, or do you know anyone who has? If so, call Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email email@example.com.