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Officer starts complex patrol

PUBLISHED: 13:19 28 May 2010 | UPDATED: 22:05 07 July 2010

A POLICE officer has begun patrolling a forest holiday park on the Norfolk-Suffolk border following a spate of villa and bicycle thefts.

A POLICE officer has begun patrolling a forest holiday park on the Norfolk-Suffolk border following a spate of villa and bicycle thefts.

Officials from Center Parcs and Suffolk Police have clubbed together to fund the police community support officer in a bid to crackdown on a crime wave in Elveden Forest.

The match-funded officer comes after 45 villas were raided and 142 bicycles were stolen from the holiday park, near Thetford, over the last year.

Officers from the Brandon Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) and Center Parcs bosses hope that the permanent police presence will act as a visible deterrent to thieves targeting the site.

The forest holiday park is also looking to train members of staff as special constables for round-the-clock on-site police presence, with four people currently undergoing training.

PCSO Suzanne Ashford has already spent three years with Brandon SNT. Her presence at Center Parcs has already had an affect following the arrest of a 43-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman, both from Brandon, on suspicion of bicycle theft on Friday May14.

PCSO Ashford followed a suspicious man on a bike and the police helicopter was also mobilised, which discovered a truck in Elveden Forest. It was seized and a property was searched in Brandon where 11 bikes were recovered. The man and woman have been released on police bail.

She said: “This sends out a message to criminals that any crime will not be tolerated. We are working hard with park management on a number of strategies to ensure people are able to enjoy the park without any fear of criminal activity.”

Simon Kay, Center Parcs spokesman, added: “Over the last 12 months thieves have targeted Elveden Forest, and the funding of this officer proves we are taking the issue very seriously.”

“We have implemented a range of new security measures, and by working closely with the SNT, we are sending out a message that we intend to take a hard line against offenders, by identifying suspects and dealing with such issues in the first instance.”


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