Meeting to give Dereham residents the chance to voice their concerns over policing and road safety

Dereham residents will have the opportunity to discuss road issues in Dereham. Picture: Archant

Dereham residents will have the opportunity to discuss road issues in Dereham. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Residents in Dereham will be given the opportunity to voice their concerns over roads and find out more about local policing during an upcoming public meeting.

The Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (SNAP) will take place on November 29 and for the first time it will be attended by representatives from Norfolk County Council's Highways team and Highways England.

Jean Bonnick, chair of the meeting, said: 'I think it is brilliant that they have responded. In every meeting we have held there are issues about road hazards, parking and speeding and we can't get any action taken without Highways being present.'

Their attendance means that residents will have the chance to find out more about repairs to roads within the town, which are maintained by Norfolk Highways, as well as raise concerns about the A47, which is overseen by Highways England.

There have been a number of calls for Highways England to improve safety on the A47 and after a fatality at the beginning of October, Dereham Mayor Hilary Bushell said the town council would put pressure on Highways to make improvements until the road is dualled.

In addition to raising concerns over the roads, residents will be able to find out more about policing in the town. Police officers from Dereham will attend to provide an update on the three policing priorities that were decided on in the last meeting. These currently focus on speeding, cycling safety and drug related-activity.

If people feel that these priorities should be changed then they can discuss new concerns with the officers.

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Speaking of a policing overhaul planned for next year, Ms Bushell said: 'Dereham is still a low crime area, and the police are working extensively on the drug scene within the town and surrounding communities.

'I have been assured that Breckland will continue to have a good police presence, and as we do not have a permanent PCSO in Dereham, the increase in full police officers by fourteen in the Breckland area can only be seen as a positive step forward. 'These changes do not come into effect until spring of next year. It is for the community to be alert and if they have information that can be of use to the police then please make them aware.'

Terry Cross, administrator for Norfolk Neighbourhood Watch and part of the SNAP panel, said: 'The meetings are there to help the community with concerns. Having the agencies there allows us to connect residents with the people who can help with things such as vandalism, speeding and anti-social behaviour. We can also use our experience to help make the communities safer.'

The meeting takes place at Breckland Council Chambers, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham on November 29 at 7pm.