Buddy scheme to reassure dog walkers in woods where 83-year-old was brutally murdered given go-ahead
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A new buddy scheme to support dog walkers in a wood where a man was brutally murdered has been given the go-ahead - and looks set to leave a lasting legacy.
Breckland Dog Walkers has been developed as a way to reassure people walking in East Harling and surrounding areas.
It comes after the murder of 83-year-old Peter Wrighton, from Banham, who was stabbed to death at Harling Woods on Saturday, August 5.
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At a meeting held at East Harling Sports and Social Club on Wednesday (October 11), organised by Breckland Police and Harling Parish Council, it was decided a launch event for the scheme would take place in late November.
People will be encouraged to bring their dogs and it is hoped the event could also raise money to fund a bench in Mr Wrighton's memory.
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From then, people would be able to use the Facebook group or people's contact details to organise meeting up to walk their dogs.
One woman who approached the police with the idea, who asked only to be known as Sally, said: 'I knew Peter and I saw him most days and it was horrible.
'It took our confidence away from going up there.'
She said people had started to use the walk again, adding: 'He [Peter] would not have wanted us to be deterred from walking there.
'We are now actually getting our confidence back and we go up there on our own again but I think it is nice to go with somebody.'
PC Amy Lucas, Breckland Police community engagement officer, is helping to organise the event and told the meeting: 'It is a very good community village and it has so many different things going on and we don't want that to be lost.
'We want it put out there that East Harling is a lovely place to live and a lovely place to walk your dog.'
Penny Lindop, from Garboldisham, who regularly uses the woods and also suggested the idea of a buddy system, said: 'I think it was a real tragedy and you have got to bring something good from it and do something positive in his memory and bring people together.
'I saw it as being a way for friendships to develop and people to socialise their dogs.
'What is better than getting outside in the fresh air and keeping fit?'
The date of the launch event is still to be confirmed.
Former soldier Alexander Palmer, 23, of Freesia Way, Cringleford, was charged with his murder.
He is due in court on November 17.