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Page last updated at 14:41 GMT, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 15:41 UK
Broads Beat could go full time
John Parry from Broads Beat on a boat
Broads Beat ensure that life on Norfolk's waterways runs smoothly

People who live on the Norfolk Broads could soon have a dedicated police force helping to reduce crime all year round rather than just in the summer.

For 14 years, the Broads Beat team have patrolled the 125 miles of rivers and they will now have to think about the new port at Great Yarmouth as well.

"We have a lot of anti-social behaviour on the Broads," said John Parry from Broads Beat at Hoveton.

They're now so busy they could start working in the winter too.

Cane Meadow in Wroxham appears to be one of the hot-spots for antisocial behaviour on the Broads.

"Some youths have been taking music systems along and having mini raves, which has caused inconvenience to residents - especially late at night," said John.

For some residents, the unacceptable behaviour by the water has caused a lot of unnecessary worry.

"One time the music went on all night - another was until 2.30am," said a local resident.

Safe for everybody

The Broads Beat scheme helps tackle these problems and eases the burden for those living nearby.

"It's nice having a Broads Beat because you get to know them all and you feel as though someone is keeping an eye on things - it makes the place safe for everybody," added the resident.

Boat on the Norfolk Broads

Some of the problems on the Broads stem from the lack of experience many people have navigating and driving on water.

"They haven't got brakes to just stop the boat, you have to put the engine in reverse and obviously the momentum means it takes some time to stop," said Andy Elson from the Broads Authority.

And unlike on the roads, families allow young children to drive boats unaccompanied, which leads to its own problems.

"There was a boat in Potter Heigham weaving from side to side - it turned out to be a six-year-old driving," said Andy.

The success of the patrol and the opening of the new port in Great Yarmouth means that Broads Beat could become a regular sight all year round.

"There is going to be a need for more police presence," said Paul Bassham from Broads Beat.

"I can see that's an area they'll be expanding for sure," he added.


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