The group is made up of residents from both the town and its surrounding villages and includes representatives of various community organisations.
It’s not an onerous responsibility but it is an important one. We get to liaise with various levels of policing and in the course of our discussions are given a snapshot of what’s been of concern and the steps taken to deal with the variety of transgressions.
Naturally the day to day priorities of the force are beyond our interference and that’s how it should be. But by pinpointing specific problems and targeting them with extra attention, our community can be reassured that ‘something is being done’. Earlier this summer, for example, emphasis was placed on pubs and alcohol-related crime with the European Football Championships in mind.
So long as any of the home nations were involved, there was bound to be plenty of crowded pubs watching the action on the big screens.
Whilst this was true and England’s failure notwithstanding, the standard of conduct was on the whole deemed very positive.
Incidents of anti-social behaviour and nuisance vehicles on the Tesco car park were also targeted and with the co-operation of the company were effectively managed.
Behaviour issues down by the riverside came as a surprise to me but on fine weather days and especially weekends there had been noisy gatherings and fire-lighting in the woods. Again, extra police patrols monitored this closely and kept it well under control. When the SNAP panel got together earlier this month at the police station, three new priorities were decided upon from five suggestions. Although I live close by I was unaware of neighbourhood issues on The Drift which links Norwich Road with Holt Road. But ongoing noise nuisance has apparently been very disturbing and upsetting. So that will be targeted.
Even though it seems a long way off right now, celebrations of Hallowe’en and Guy Fawkes’ night always demand added police emphasis.
And the panel also responded to the idea of crime prevention surgeries on market days as a positive way of community engagement.
Towards the conclusion of our evening I really liked the comments made by beat manager PC Wayne Simmons. In summary, having acknowledged confrontational issues in the past, he described the present crop of young people in the town as a very decent group of youngsters.
He also said that there was a low level of violence here and that, all in all, we lived in a very safe town.
n I grew up within the sound of steam trains and in a family infused with railway history back to my grandfather, my Dad and his two brothers.
Somehow that childhood experience never quite goes away. And despite the ravages of Beeching, at least some reminders of our railway past remain .
I was fascinated to see the display mounted in our Museum of Gas and Local History of the period when coal was brought into Fakenham by rail to supply the gas works.
It was off-loaded at the Fakenham West station – the works never actually having its own siding. You can see the exhibition on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday mornings.