Norfolk Constabulary has the following safety advice regarding water safety:

  • Do not swim in the Broads, regardless of the weather.
  • Wear your lifejacket / buoyancy aid at all times whilst on the boat or near the water’s edge.
  • Never enter the water to get someone out.
  • Keep an eye on everyone on board, particularly children, and avoid sitting on the front of the boat.
  • Do not use disposable barbecues on the vessel.
  • Do not navigate at night without lights fitted.
  • Keep a good lookout for overhead power cables.
  • Keep the boat in good order - trailing ropes can trip or tangle and sometimes get caught around the propeller.
  • Pay attention to speed limits and observe all navigational markers to avoid being stranded on mud banks or in shallow tidal water.
  • Always moor up against the tide or current. Avoid rocking the boat by jumping or running on or off and avoid climbing on the cabin roof.
  • A person shall not Navigate a vessel whilst under the influence of drink or drugs to such an extent as to be incapable of taking proper control of the vessel
  • Be courteous to others. Sailing boats have the right of way and can be difficult to manoeuvre so slow down and keep to the right hand side. Give moored boats, small boats and anglers plenty of space and reduce your speed and wash. Boats don’t have brakes - they take time to slow down and stop, so think ahead.
  • Keep all people inside whilst going under bridges and mind your heads. You are advised to use the bridge pilot provided at Potter Heigham and Wroxham. Most hire companies require this.
  • When crossing Breydon Water always stay within the posts. The water is shallow outside the posted channel and you may become grounded in the mud. Try to do so at slack, low water when the current is a lot weaker and there is more room under the bridges. (Check the tide table to find out when low or slack water is).
  • When crossing Oulton Broad during a powerboat race, stay in the designated area and follow any directions given by the officials.

Download our engine cover poster below.

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Broads Beat | Sponsors
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BroadsBeat Sponsors


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Broads Beat
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Norfolk is home to vast waterways and the role of the Broads Beat team is to ensure safety and security on the Broads.

Meet the team:

  • A/Insp San Sharples
  • Sgt Toby Gosden
  • PC Paul Bassham
  • PC Amy Barrell
Sam Sharples
Sgt Toby Gosden
PC Paul Bassham
PC Amy Barrell

The Broads Beat team consists of:

  • Two full time Beat Managers for the Norfolk Broads, PC Amy Barrell & PC Paul Bassham, who work exclusively on Broads Beat all year round
  • A reserve officer
  • Officers from the Special Constabulary
  • Overseeing the team is Sergeant Gosden and Inspector Bishop

Broads Beat officers can be contacted to help in a range of incidents including:

  • missing people
  • potential drowning
  • searches
  • football matches
  • firearms deployments
  • anti-social behaviour
  • crimes

They are also available to offer crime prevention advice and attend many of the county's boat shows, jumbles, regattas, races and marine related festivals.

To contact the team call 101 ext 1235 or 1236 or email [email protected]

Outboard Engines

Outboard Engines are particularly vulnerable pieces of equipment and as such Norfolk Constabulary with partner agencies are giving boat owners/users the opportunity to purchase outboard engine covers that replace the top plastic cowling of your engine, thus making th engine far less attractive to would be thieves. 

The covers have the Norfolk Police logo stamped on them and are a great deterrent as the thief would have to replace the cowling to your engine before it can be sold on. 

Engine covers are available in three sizes to fit most outboard engines:


And can be purchased from the attached list of locations: 

Location of boat cover sales

Please make cheques payable to OPCCN (Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Norfolk). For more information on this scheme please contact us on 101 or at [email protected]. For any covers requested to be posted to the buyer, relevant postage costs will also need to be included in the payment (postage costs will vary depending on the size and number of covers); we will post to buyers using Royal Mail standard delivery. Please contact Broads Beat via the above email address to confirm postage costs. 

You can also security mark your property by using police approved products from Data Tag or Selecta DNA.

Follow @BroadsBeat on Twitter to keep informed on the day to day activities of the Broads Beat team. 

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Boat Shield
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Boat Shield

Boat Shield is a joint Norfolk and Suffolk initiative to tackle crime on and around the waterways of the two counties.

If you’re a boat owner and are serious about security, follow the advice provided by Boat Shield so you can reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime.

You can also join our rapidly growing network to share information and receive alerts about crime on the Broads and around our coastal areas.

The main aims of the scheme are:

  • to reduce incidents of boat crime and associated theft by encouraging members to improve security
  • to increase detection in marine crime
  • to gather intelligence from members via reports of suspicious activity
  • to improve relations between the police and the boating community
  • to create information points where members can pick up expert help and advice to improve security.

We would encourage you to clearly display the Boat Shield sticker on your boat to ensure that thieves know that you have taken your boat’s security seriously.  These are available at many of the outlets around the Broads or from the Broads Beat team.

For more information about the scheme, please contact Broads Beat at [email protected] or on 101; or email [email protected] or [email protected] .

Alternatively, you can contact Broads Beat at: [email protected] or dial 101.