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Buddy scheme to reassure dog walkers in woods where 83-year-old was brutally murdered given go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 14:29 11 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:04 11 October 2017

A meeting is held in East Harling by Breckland Police and the parish council to arrange a community dog walking scheme to reassure dog walkers following the murder of Peter Wrighton. 
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017

A meeting is held in East Harling by Breckland Police and the parish council to arrange a community dog walking scheme to reassure dog walkers following the murder of Peter Wrighton. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Archant 2017

A new buddy scheme to support dog walkers in a wood where a man was brutally murdered has been given the go-ahead - and looks set to leave a lasting legacy.

A meeting is held in East Harling by Breckland Police and the parish council to arrange a community dog walking scheme to reassure dog walkers following the murder of Peter Wrighton. 
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017A meeting is held in East Harling by Breckland Police and the parish council to arrange a community dog walking scheme to reassure dog walkers following the murder of Peter Wrighton. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Breckland Dog Walkers has been developed as a way to reassure people walking in East Harling and surrounding areas.

It comes after the murder of 83-year-old Peter Wrighton, from Banham, who was stabbed to death at Harling Woods on Saturday, August 5.

MORE - Murder of dog-walker Peter Wrighton: Former soldier Alexander Palmer to have psychiatric tests

A dog walking scheme is being set up in East Harling following the murder of Peter Wrighton, 83, of Banham. Picture: Norfolk ConstabularyA dog walking scheme is being set up in East Harling following the murder of Peter Wrighton, 83, of Banham. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

At a meeting held at East Harling Sports and Social Club on Wednesday (October 11), organised by Breckland Police and Harling Parish Council, it was decided a launch event for the scheme would take place in late November.

People will be encouraged to bring their dogs and it is hoped the event could also raise money to fund a bench in Mr Wrighton’s memory.

From then, people would be able to use the Facebook group or people’s contact details to organise meeting up to walk their dogs.

A meeting is held in East Harling by Breckland Police and the parish council to arrange a community dog walking scheme to reassure dog walkers following the murder of Peter Wrighton. 
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017A meeting is held in East Harling by Breckland Police and the parish council to arrange a community dog walking scheme to reassure dog walkers following the murder of Peter Wrighton. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

One woman who approached the police with the idea, who asked only to be known as Sally, said: “I knew Peter and I saw him most days and it was horrible.

“It took our confidence away from going up there.”

She said people had started to use the walk again, adding: “He [Peter] would not have wanted us to be deterred from walking there.

“We are now actually getting our confidence back and we go up there on our own again but I think it is nice to go with somebody.”

Penny Lindop who was one of the people to suggest the idea of a dog walking buddy scheme to the police.  Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017Penny Lindop who was one of the people to suggest the idea of a dog walking buddy scheme to the police. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

MORE - Prayers said for East Harling murder victim Peter Wrighton at Norfolk churches

PC Amy Lucas, Breckland Police community engagement officer, is helping to organise the event and told the meeting: “It is a very good community village and it has so many different things going on and we don’t want that to be lost.

A meeting is held in East Harling by Breckland Police and the parish council to arrange a community dog walking scheme to reassure dog walkers following the murder of Peter Wrighton. 
 The meeting was chaired by PC Amy Lucas.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017A meeting is held in East Harling by Breckland Police and the parish council to arrange a community dog walking scheme to reassure dog walkers following the murder of Peter Wrighton. The meeting was chaired by PC Amy Lucas. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

“We want it put out there that East Harling is a lovely place to live and a lovely place to walk your dog.”

Penny Lindop, from Garboldisham, who regularly uses the woods and also suggested the idea of a buddy system, said: “I think it was a real tragedy and you have got to bring something good from it and do something positive in his memory and bring people together.

“I saw it as being a way for friendships to develop and people to socialise their dogs.

“What is better than getting outside in the fresh air and keeping fit?”

A meeting is held in East Harling by Breckland Police and the parish council to arrange a community dog walking scheme to reassure dog walkers following the murder of Peter Wrighton. 
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017A meeting is held in East Harling by Breckland Police and the parish council to arrange a community dog walking scheme to reassure dog walkers following the murder of Peter Wrighton. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

MORE - “Peter Wrighton was a gem to work for and to know”, says former colleague

The date of the launch event is still to be confirmed.

Former soldier Alexander Palmer, 23, of Freesia Way, Cringleford, was charged with his murder.

He is due in court on November 17.

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