Police call for crack-down on clubs in Norwich

Apparently Prince of Wales is too ‘saturated’ with clubs


Norwich Police have submitted a report to the City Council asking it to prevent new clubs from opening on Prince of Wales Road.

The report comes following a rise in violence and anti-social behaviour along Prince of Wales Road. It’s claimed that from 2011 – 2013 there were 1,390 crimes in the area between 9pm and 6am.

Police have linked the increase with the opening of more pubs and clubs on the road. Since August 2012, a whopping eleven new premises have been licensed, while the hours of licences at eight existing establishments have been extended.

As part of this policy, it would be much harder for places serving alcohol to open along Prince of Wales Road and in the surrounding areas.

The report says: “Anecdotally, some licensees have claimed that a saturated market has led to cost-cutting, aggressive drinks pricing and a lowering of standards around admission policy.”

During the last year alone, six extra police officers have had to be drafted to the “nighttime economy zone” on Saturday nights.

Police say that violent crimes are on the rise in Norwich city centre.

Police say that violent crimes are on the rise in Norwich city centre

Renni Johnson, a UEA student and bartender at a club in the city centre, said: “Leaving work on a Saturday night and coming out on to Prince of Wales around four or five in the morning is definitely a little frightening.

“You can hear people screaming and there is almost always a fight being broken up.”

That’s not to say that the police’s proposed policy has gone down well.

Renni added: “I don’t know if this new policy will be effective. There are loads of clubs and bars, but I don’t think adding more would change the issue too much.

“It’s drinking culture that’s to blame. By 4am, people have been drinking heavily for hours and they leave clubs with impaired judgement. Simple disagreements quickly turn into violent fights.”

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Students are already complaining

A representative from Gonzo’s Tea Room was also unsure about the proposal: “I agree the city is saturated with bars but there is also a total lack of customers down on the Prince of Wales Road.

“The increase in reported violent crimes could be due to the larger number of officers deployed.

“In my first year in Norwich I saw many trouble makers, but only about four arrests, whereas this year I’ve seen dozens.

“They could throw out another six officers and get even more arrests.”

The policy is currently being considered by Norwich City Council’s licensing committee. If it passes this consultation, it will be put before the full council in June.