Group to probe anti-social behaviour on the Broads

Broads Authority Chief Executive John Packman and ranger Jon Hopes. Picture: Andrew Stone

Broads Authority Chief Executive John Packman and ranger Jon Hopes. Picture: Andrew Stone - Credit: Archant

A short-term working group has been set up to look into anti-social behaviour on the Broads.

The police Broads Beat boat on patrol in The Broads. Picture: Denise Bradley

The police Broads Beat boat on patrol in The Broads. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

The group, which is made up of Broads Authority members, will be supported by the Authority's officers and will also work with the Broads Hire Boat Federation, the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association (NSBA), Broads Society, and a representative from the Norfolk Constabulary.

The move comes after North Norfolk Council member Paul Rice proposed in July that a 'small working group' made up of members and other role players be set up to look into anti-social behaviour on the Broads.

Mr Rice made the proposal at the annual meeting of the Broads Authority following an incident in June in which a bridegroom was stripped naked and urinated on in front of horrified onlookers at a Stokesby pub.

In a report to members of the Broads Authority navigation committee last week, chief executive John Packman said a meeting between the newly-established working group and 'key stakeholders' would take place on October 4.


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He said the Authority's priority was to manage safety on the waterways 'to a reasonable level to enable those using them to appreciate and enjoy the special qualities of the National Park'.

'The Authority's rangers will assist wherever possible in certain instances; however, the prime responsibility for dealing with severe incidences of anti-social behaviour rests with the police.'

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Mr Packman said members at the July meeting were mindful of the sensitivities involved for people witnessing such incidents.

He said there was also the need to view the matter proportionately while not underestimating the seriousness of the issue.

'It is recognised that such anti-social behaviour should not be tolerated as it can damage the reputation of the area and it is the Authority's duty to disseminate this message emphasising the special qualities of the area for all to enjoy whilst having consideration for others.'

The list of BA members on the working group are: Nicky Talbot; Bill Dickson; Paul Rice; Michael Whitaker, member and Hire Boat Federation representative; Greg Munford, member and chair of Broads Tourism; Brian Wilkins, member and NSBA representative; and Inspector Rob Wicks of Broads Beat.

Broads Authority officers on the group will include chief executive John Packman.

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