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Community spirit thriving in north Norfolk's frozen neighbourhoods

PUBLISHED: 16:21 10 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:06 07 July 2010

Chris Hill

Police joined search and rescue volunteers on the frozen streets of north Norfolk today to discover how vulnerable people were coping with the harsh winter.

Police joined search and rescue volunteers on the frozen streets of north Norfolk today to discover how vulnerable people were coping with the harsh winter.

Members of the Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue (Norlsar) and Rover Rescue teams used 4x4s to escort police officers to isolated communities where roads and pavements were still covered in ice.

The aim of the exercise was to improve confidence in neighbourhood policing and check on anyone who had become housebound or suffered other problems during the cold snap.

The teams left Fakenham police station to target an area stretching from Dereham to the north Norfolk coast.

Among the issues raised were power cuts, lack of gritting, difficulty collecting prescriptions or shopping, and the suspension of bus services and community car schemes.

Some elderly residents said they had been unable to leave their house for three weeks, but their family and friends had rallied round to ensure they were properly supplied, heated and cared for.

Insp Julian Moulton, of Norfolk police, said: “I think this has shown there are a few small problems but most people are being very well looked after by their families and neighbours.

“The community spirit is there. Most people are doing extremely well and have been very appreciative of having someone knock on the door to say hello and ask how they were.”

Insp Moulton urged more people to take the opportunity to check on vulnerable neighbours or relatives, especially if they have not seen them for a while, to see if they need help.

“We have built up a list of addresses where people might be vulnerable, but we need people to take into account others we might not be aware of,” he said.

t For full story, see Thursday's Fakenham and Wells Times.

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