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Raising awareness of Police Priorities

June 2000

Another initiative we are in the process of formulating: a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of police priorities.

In that context, we might say to residents of rural Norfolk - and anywhere else for that matter - who are concerned about the low profile (to understate the situation) of their police:

  "Why don't you ask the National Trust to take over your area, and then complain that there are nudists at the bottom of your garden. You would then be inundated with more police than you can shake a hairy stick at, and all the burglars would be scared off" Our cartoonist Ricky has a word or several to say about that, introducing his not altogether tongue-in-cheek comments with a merry musical jingle:

If you want to know the time - ask a policeman
 If you want to find a policeman - go to Studland

During the winter, when there is probably no more than a handful of nudists about, the police can be seen either spending an afternoon walking in the nudist area of Studland or roaming around the tracks in their (sponsored) 4WD vehicle. In the summer, even more regular visits are made when they take routine walks along the dunes and paths on sunny days, patrolling at the behest of the National Trust to ensure that nudists stay within the restricted area. From the nonchalant manner in which they patrol it is obvious they have not been called out specially because a crime has been committed, but only at Studland is crime prevention taken seriously, so if that means patrolling, so be it.

It appears that more serious crime takes place on our streets every day than ever does at Studland. This must be because of the regular presence of the police on the beach. The public clearly feel confident about this, which is why people flock to an already overcrowded Studland in the summer, because they feel safer there than on the streets or at home.

If the same amount of police attention was given to our streets as we see at Studland, would the crime figures be greatly reduced? The answer has to be "no" -because of the usual "lack of resources" Studland would be left exposed to a tidal wave of serious crime with drunken assaults, criminal damage, theft, mugging and rape becoming endemic on the beach and dunes, without the reassuringly constant and high profile police presence.

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