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Interest in Dereham 'respect zone'

PUBLISHED: 13:43 22 October 2008 | UPDATED: 14:46 07 July 2010

Councils across the country are showing an interest in a new "respect zone" which has been created in a Dereham car park.

The marked green area at the top of Cherry Tree has attracted national publicity after it was unveiled to tackle a range of anti-social behaviour, especially bad driving.

Councils across the country are showing an interest in a new “respect zone” which has been created in a Dereham car park.

The marked green area at the top of Cherry Tree has attracted national publicity after it was unveiled to tackle a range of anti-social behaviour, especially bad driving.

The town's police safer neighbourhood team and Breckland Council have worked in partnership on the scheme - which has cost £1300 and will include five new signs and has also allowed more car parking spaces to be created.

Sgt Terry Scott - who has helped pioneer the project - gave a presentation on Tuesday to town councillors the work followed a year of liaising with residents over ways to curb bad behaviour.

He said 100 youths had been contacted and about 80 pc had not caused any more problems.

But among those who had continued to offend, some had had their cars seized.

Sgt Scott said the respect zone “focuses the minds” on making young people think about the way they behave in the area and to be thoughtful about local residents.

“We have the eyes of the country on us and we have been inundated with inquiries from people interested in what we are doing.”

He said the £1300 for the scheme would be equivalent to the cost of one week's police operation in the area.

Sgt Scott said officers still had the powers to “come down hard” on those who continue to commit anti-social behaviour.

He said the whole area of Cherry Tree was still available for parking, and more spaces had actually been created due to re-painting.

Mayor Lynda Turner praised the work of the safer neighbourhood team in their work on Cherry Tree car park and also other areas of the town, especially Charles Close in Toftwood.

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