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Working group to tackle anti-social behaviour on Broads

PUBLISHED: 16:02 28 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:07 28 July 2017

Broads Authority Chief Executive John Packman. Picture Andrew Stone

Broads Authority Chief Executive John Packman. Picture Andrew Stone

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A proposal that a short-term working group be set up to look into anti-social behaviour on the Broads was accepted at the annual meeting of the Broads Authority.

While Broads rangers will assist wherever possible on the water, anyone coming across incidents of extreme anti-social behaviour are encouraged to call the police. Picture: Andrew StoneWhile Broads rangers will assist wherever possible on the water, anyone coming across incidents of extreme anti-social behaviour are encouraged to call the police. Picture: Andrew Stone

The move follows an incident in June in which a bridegroom was stripped naked and urinated on in front of horrified onlookers at a Stokesby pub.

The incident and anti-social behaviour in general on the Broads was discussed amongst members at the meeting on Friday, July 28.

In a report, Broads Authority chief executive John Packman said in recent weeks there appeared to be an increase in the levels of extreme anti-social behaviour. However, he was at pains to explain that it was only a minority that caused problems.

MORE: Groom is stripped naked and urinated on during stag party on Norfolk Broads

Boaters coming across incidents of extreme anti-social behaviour on the Broads are being enouraged to immediately call the police. Picture: Andrew StoneBoaters coming across incidents of extreme anti-social behaviour on the Broads are being enouraged to immediately call the police. Picture: Andrew Stone

“At this time of year there are typically 20 to 30 single sex groups on the water at the weekend,” he said.

He said typically around 10pc, or two to three per weekend, caused problems for other users, locals, rangers and Broads Beat.

Mr Packman said the authority had met with the Broads Hire Boat Federation (BHBF) and Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association (NSBA), where it was agreed that:

• All three organisations would encourage boat owners and hirers to contact police in the event of coming across severe examples of anti-social behaviour.

Boaters coming across incidents of extreme anti-social behaviour on the Broads are being enouraged to immediately call the police. Picture: Andrew StoneBoaters coming across incidents of extreme anti-social behaviour on the Broads are being enouraged to immediately call the police. Picture: Andrew Stone

• The BHBF would develop a code of practise for all hire companies in relation to the briefings provided to non-family groups.

• The hire boat companies would consider raising the deposits required from non-family groups and contributing towards costs incurred by the Broads Authority and the police for time spent dealing with exceptional anti-social behaviour.

MORE: Meet and greets by officers help to reduce anti-social behaviour on Norfolk Broads

A proposal from North Norfolk Council member Paul Rice that a “small working group” made up of members and other role players be set up to look into the issue was accepted. Mr Packman said: “The terms of reference are yet to be discussed. However I would like to see the group gather some reliable data regarding the number, location and types of incidents before we generate ideas around prevention and reaction to incidents. The focus should very much be about prevention but we also need to consider how we react to incidents, gather evidence and where appropriate make successful prosecutions.”

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