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Town memorial gets a revamp by police, cadets and council

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:07 07 August 2018

Dereham police cadet volunteers, Breckland Police officers, the Mayor of Watton Tina Kiddell, and Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green at the Watton memorial garden. Picture: Fred Kiddell

Dereham police cadet volunteers, Breckland Police officers, the Mayor of Watton Tina Kiddell, and Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green at the Watton memorial garden. Picture: Fred Kiddell

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A town’s memorial gardens have been given a make over thanks to community engagement between the police and the local council.

Volunteers hard at work on the Watton Memorial Garden. Picture: @BrecklandPoliceVolunteers hard at work on the Watton Memorial Garden. Picture: @BrecklandPolice

The Watton Memorial Garden, off the Thetford Road, has been be a draw for those committing anti-social behaviour (ASB).

The town’s police beat manager Pc Austin Clarke came up with the idea to renovate the gardens to make it a place people can go for remembrance and to deter the anti-social behaviour.

He said it seemed like the perfect timing with it being the RAF’s 100th year and the centenary of the end of the First World War.

“We identified it as an area where there was anti-social behaviour and where people would gather and drink and urinate,” said Pc Clarke. “It was an issue that needed tackling but there was also the added issue of the memorial area that needed a bit of TLC.

Pc Austin Clarke, Breckland officer and Watton beat manager, who came up with the idea for the revamp. Picture: @BrecklandPolicePc Austin Clarke, Breckland officer and Watton beat manager, who came up with the idea for the revamp. Picture: @BrecklandPolice

“We thought why don’t we get together, give it a revamp, and make it more attractive for people to come and sit and enjoy it. And be a deterrent to those who wanted to come and use it for other things.”

Despite Monday’s scorching heat, there was plenty of enthusiasm from the volunteers.

Six of Dereham’s police cadets, Watton mayor Tina Kiddell, Breckland officers, and staff from Tesco all helped out during the day.

New bark was laid, new plants introduced, and the bench and bin were repainted in addition to the town’s old Livestock Weighbridge.

Police cadets, Breckland police officers, representatives from Tesco and the Mayor Of Watton, who all helped on the memorial garden. Picture: Rebecca MurphyPolice cadets, Breckland police officers, representatives from Tesco and the Mayor Of Watton, who all helped on the memorial garden. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

Ms Kiddell said the water fountain, which has not worked for a number of years, will be switched on in time for the Remembrance Day events.

“Everyone has worked really hard,” said Ms Kiddell.

“We have been working very closely with the police and we are highlighting issues and are moving forward with a lot of things with a lot more positive vibes.”

Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green was in town as part of his tour of the county to seek the public’s view about who should govern the fire service.

Watton Memorial Garden had a make over following a partnership between Watton Town Council and Breckland Police. Pictured from left are; Sgt Andy Barnes, Watton mayor Tina Kiddell, Pc Austin Clarke and Pc Jon Downs. Picture: Fred KiddellWatton Memorial Garden had a make over following a partnership between Watton Town Council and Breckland Police. Pictured from left are; Sgt Andy Barnes, Watton mayor Tina Kiddell, Pc Austin Clarke and Pc Jon Downs. Picture: Fred Kiddell

He said: “The officers are our neighbours wearing a uniform. They are part of the community and they are part of Watton.

“It is their community.” Jewsons and Tesco provided equipment, plants and food and drinks.

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