Norfolk and Suffolk police are cracking down on crime and anti-social behaviour on the Broads as they join Broads Authority rangers on patrols.
Six Special Constables were given training by Broads Authority rangers on boat handling, byelaws and water safety on the River Waveney last week. Full time officers will also be trained over the winter so they can carry out high profile on-the-water policing with rangers.
On the final day they dealt with a medical emergency when they came across a local man who was suffering a suspected heart attack on his boat near Oulton Broad Holiday Village. They called the coastguard and paramedics and an ambulance were shortly on the scene.
PC Paul Bassham of BroadsBeat which has its own police patrol boats said: “We’re aiming to be more proactive in preventing crime on the Broads and act as a deterrent while reassuring people of a police presence and offering safety and crime prevention advice. Many criminals are quite brazen and will operate during day. We ask people to look out for each other and report anything suspicious by ringing 101 quoting project Kraken, or in the event of a crime actually taking place, to ring 999.”
He said there had been a recent spate of thefts at Brundall boatyards in which eight boats have been entered and four chart plotters stolen. Owners are advised to check their boats regularly or get someone to do it for them, particularly during the winter.
Suffolk Police have recently launched Boatshield, which is aimed at helping the public to prevent marine crime. Information leaflets are available at Beccles Quay.
Great Yarmouth Yacht Station has now been fitted with CCTV cameras. A person was caught stealing a fishing rod from a cruiser and a light from a Broads Authority boat in its first week.
PC Bassham urged boaters to keep equipment such as fishing rods and valuables out of sight and take serial numbers of outboard engines, Smart phones, I pads, VHF Radios and other marine gadgets.