Boy makes plea for safer school journeys

Most nine-year-old boys are likely to be found playing football, glued to the television screen or gripped by a computer game. But Samuel Birt is already standing out from the crowd as a political activist.

Most nine-year-old boys are likely to be found playing football, glued to the television screen or gripped by a computer game.

But Samuel Birt is already standing out from the crowd as a political activist.

Samuel, nine, took matters into his own hands and wrote to officers at Dereham police station near his home to ask the police to provide more officers on School Lane in Dereham and to reduce the speed limit to 20mph.

Samuel, a pupil at Toftwood Junior School, wrote: "I would like to thank you for having police officers on the side of School Lane before Christmas, it has helped traffic to stay off the pavement.

"My family and I live on School Lane and when we try to get to school we see cars driving on the pavement outside our house and don't feel safe to walk."

School Lane is often used as a short cut between Shipdham Road and Yaxham Road, and drivers are known to rush along it at busy times - despite the fact that there are two schools on the lane, Toftwood Infants and Toftwood Juniors.

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Insp Ross McDermot, at Dereham police station, said: "We have received the letter and the response is on its way to Samuel and his family now.

"We have made our neighbourhood teams aware of the issue.

"There is also a scheme by the highways department called the 'safer journeys to school scheme' so we have made Samuel aware of that project as well."