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Security gates nominated for award

PUBLISHED: 08:30 20 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 22 October 2010

RICHARD BALLS

Security gates in terraced streets in Norwich which have helped reduce break-ins across the city by half have been nominated for a national award.

Security gates in terraced streets in Norwich which have helped reduce break-ins across the city by half have been nominated for a national award.

More than 2500 homes have benefited from the 465 alley gates put up in burglary hotspots over the past three years, with not a single one forced by an intruder. Break-ins at properties across the force's Central Area, which covers Norwich and South Norfolk, have halved since the first gates were installed in April 2003.

Norfolk police's success story has already won recognition in the ALARM awards run by the National Forum for Risk Management in the Public Sector and now it has been chosen as a finalist in the awards later this month.

"The success of the alley gate scheme shows that simple, relatively cheap crime prevention methods are popular and very effective when they are based on careful analysis and partnership between police, local authority and, most importantly, local people," said Insp Peter Walsh of Bethel Street police station.

"This is not the end of the alley gate project; it will continue as long as research indicates there is a need and funds are available.

"There are many more neighbourhoods in Norwich and elsewhere in the county that could benefit and we look forward to working with the county council, local authorities and many more people in Norfolk to protect homes, property and peace of mind."

Police targeted the scheme at parts of the city where 70 to 90pc of break-ins were made at the rear of properties and the intention was to create a 'ring of steel' in each community.

Neighbours share the responsibility for keeping their gate secure and to be vigilant and all residents must agree on the installation of a gate, free of charge, before it can be put up.

The gates are made of wrought iron, are powder-coated black and are very robust.

Bill Thrussell of the crime reduction unit at Bethel Street police station said: "Alley gates are very effective in preventing burglary via the rear of terraced houses, and we are delighted by the results that have been achieved. We have received messages of thanks from people who feel safer and better protected when gates are installed.

"They also assist to reduce fly-tipping, trespass and other forms of anti-social behaviour."

Norfolk Constabulary's crime reduction unit can offer advice and practical assistance on a wide range of crime prevention measures, including alley gates. They can be contacted on 01603 276054.


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