New initiatives to tackle bad behaviour on the Broads

A newly formed working group met this week to agree a number of additional, collective actions to help eradicate anti-social behaviour within the Broads National Park.

The group which included representatives of the Broads Authority, Broads Beat, The Hire Boat Federation, Norfolk & Suffolk boating Association as well as private boaters agreed that the vast majority of boaters, both private and hirers on the Broads act responsibly and do not encounter issues of poor behaviour whilst enjoying our National Park. There was a collective acceptance however that the Broads is not immune to the challenges of anti-social behaviour experienced in many other areas and there are some instances that are not limited to hirers of boats or any particular group (such as ‘stag’ parties) which attract the attention of the media and are reported on social media.

Nicky Talbot, Chair of the Broads Authority Navigation Committee commented:

“We are very keen that the Broads is not tainted by a perception of a growing issue and committed as a group to some additional proactive measures to stamp out issues such as speeding, excessive drinking and other anti-social behaviour.

“Whilst we discussed some excellent ideas to stop anti-social behaviour the group also intend to ensure that people are aware that if they cause a serious nuisance or danger to themselves or others we will take robust and appropriate action which can range from removing people from their boats to prosecution. We will also work to make sure that the public know how they can report situations immediately so we can react quickly”

Amongst many commitments the group agreed to:

  • Investigate increased Ranger and Broads Beat presence in the evenings
  • Expand the current ‘Super Safety days’ programme to evenings
  • Work with the industry to encourage limiting the maximum speed of hired day-boats
  • Increase the level of communication between Broads Authority Rangers, Broads Beat and boat hire companies to share intelligence about groups that are causing problems
  • Investigate the purchase of mobile speed signs to build on trials which took place this summer
  • Encourage the development of rewards for boat hirers who complete an online pre-visit safety test

The group agreed to monitor and review the success of the new measures throughout the season.

Thursday 5 October 2017