Violence in Norwich’s Prince of Wales Road sparks call to limit sale of high alcohol drinks

Police at the scene of trouble in Prince of Wales Road. Police at the scene of trouble in Prince of Wales Road.

Sunday, January 26, 2014
6:30 AM

A call has been made to stop the sale of super-strength alcohol in the heart of Norwich’s clubland, after a recent spate of violence.

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Green party city councillors have tabled a motion at City Hall calling for the council, police, NHS, clubs and shops to join forces to limit the sale of high alcohol lagers, beers and ciders in the Prince of Wales Road area.

The call comes after PC Lee Wilson, 42, suffered a broken leg after he was called to an incident outside a nightclub in the street earlier this month.

PC Wilson suffered a broken tibia during the incident shortly after 1am on Sunday, January 19, while a female sergeant received head injuries.

The Greens say it is time for Norwich to take a leaf out of Ipswich’s book, where two thirds of the town’s shops signed up a scheme called Reducing The Strength, which saw them stop selling super-strength beer and cider.

Police hailed the initiative for cutting anti-social behaviour.

Lesley Grahame, Green councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, will propose the motion at a city council meeting on Tuesday night.

She said: “Once again, violence on Prince of Wales Road has made headlines. The voluntary agreement in Ipswich not to sell super-strength alcohol has reduced violence and anti-social behaviour. I really hope all councillors support our motion to do the same in Norwich.

“That will send a clear message that the council wants to work with the police, clubs, shops and residents to rein in the violence that is damaging lives.

It is not a fine city if certain parts of Norwich are no-go areas where people would rather stay at home on a Saturday night than run the gauntlet of their own streets.”

Bars and clubs in Prince of Wales Road have been voluntarily closing before 4am, but police hope to make that more formal through an Early Morning Restriction Order.

• Do you think more needs to be done to tackle problems in the city’s clubland? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

21 comments

  • And Dan must be quite young because before the clubs moved in on POWR it was quite posh, offices of foreign consuls, solicitors, furniture stores and restaurants. The area was not a problem until the planners and licensing laws made it so.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • I meant the licensing authority Daisy, they are 'planners', just like the police. Once these bodies, together with te City council make their mind up, residents concerns are weighed up against the economic returns and residents loose out every time. Why not group all of these clubs away from Norwich, at a greater distance to each other, making large crowds unlikely unless they are organised.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Residents like myself who live off POW road are well aware of the Norwich City Licensing website. Our objections are never listened to by the council or police. We suffer into the early hours at weekends (till 4-30am) with drinking in the street, anti social behaviour, urinating in our garden in front of our house and noise from revellers returning to illegally parked cars. The police claim that there is little or no crime in Norfolk. The reason for this being that they never arrest anybody !!. Maybe this incident with a policeman being injured may be the catalyst for something being done, but I wont hold my breath.

    Report this comment

    urchin

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • The article mentions no evidence that shows that the unfortunate policeman was injured as a result of these specific 'high strength' drinks. Also no mention of wines and spirits which are often of higher strength.

    Report this comment

    GoodRockinDaddy

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Those statistics that are churned out to prtend that crime is falling are a huge insult to the intelligence of the general public. Nobody ,other than a politician,has any belief in the figures. They are nonsense. I would say crime is ten times worse than it was only 20 years ago. Like some of the other comments I have also experienced crime and found the police not interested in making a case.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • More tinkering at the edges. Removing strong beers will not stop nightclubs serving vodka's to already drunken people. Have to agree with Dan, this problem has been created by planners who bunched all of these nighclubs into one place for easy policing. The police has not got the staff or time to deal with this and we should not be forced to pay 2% more council tax for this deliberatly planned chaos.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • wouldn't it be a whole lot easier if staff just stopped serving someone who is clearly drunk, and also removed their drinks from them if they've got someone else to get it for them?

    Report this comment

    catalonia13

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • The availability of high strength alcohol form shops and off licences has nothing whatsoever to do with the behavior of idiots in the Prince of Wales road area, most of these people will have been boozing it up at happy hours before going clubbing not buying "spesh" from an off licence, soon there will be a headline on the front of this rag saying "why have all our corner shops closed down"?.

    Report this comment

    inactive user

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • This is such a silly suggestion. Its the same sort of legislation you see imposed for the misuse of drugs: a top down approach to something that needs to be tackled from the ground up. We have a cultural problem with the misuse of alcohol in the UK. Drinking too much is often seen as harmless or even a bit charming and little is done to actually change attitudes towards alcohol. If you want to avoid the sort of scenes we see on PWR every weekend, start educating children at KS1 as to the multitude of negative consequences that too much alcohol provides. Alternatively, get out there and join them.

    Report this comment

    Jamie Sidwell

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Norwich has always had a funny relationship with alcohol. That whole area of the city has always been a source for trouble. One reason is that everything is concentrated in that area so there's a lot of drunk people in one place. Where I live now in Stafford, it's the same at the request of the Police bars moved to the same place to make it easier to police. Except it caused more trouble. The difference is people stopped going, the clubs closed and proper pubs opened instead. Arguably these pubs sell alcohol at higher strengths, but the quality of the venue has shifted the culture. I'm a huge believer in being responsible for ones actions, if you can't behave with a belly full of beer, YOU should be banned from drinking - not the drink banned. I've had many nights out and on occasion drunk to my limit and never got into any trouble. The troubles on PoW Road is the fault of those who shouldn't be allowed to drink if they can't curb their behaviour coupled with the fault of poor policing and planning strategies.

    Report this comment

    Dan

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Usual knee jerk reaction from the glum Greens - people enjoying themselves must be stopped! This problem is two fold; culture and policing. Many times I have been lucky enough to enjoy the Fete de Music in France on 21st June. Drinking goes on throughout the night till dawn and later, all I have ever encountered is young people laughing, joking and having a good time. No sign on violence at all. However this could be because the Police have a continual low key presence and mix with the crowds, pose for photos and generally add to the ambience of the night. The Police are dressed without helmets and wear American style football shirts but with full body armour underneath. They usually patrol in groups of 2-3 and add to the ambience of the evening but you know if there is any trouble they will be there to sort it out, quickly and effectively. So there is no trouble and everyone has an incredible night out.

    Report this comment

    Lord 'Elp-Us

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Just close everything down at midnight, problem solved

    Report this comment

    billythebookie

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Ingo I think the EDP archives will reveal that the police had some input into the clumping together of the clubs-I am sure they supported it so they could police more easily , overlooking that large numbers in one place could itself cause problems That short sightedness means they are as much to blame as the planners. Those at fault are the licensing authorities for running scared from the club owners and the police for not doing what they could with drunk and disorderly law-if the city got a reputation for being tough maybe it would not attract clubbers from outside the area and put the wind up the rest

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Let's not forget that the vast majority of fun-loving adults who enjoy getting completely wasted on high-strength drink, WITHOUT causing anti-social behaviour, injuring policemen, urinating in the street, ending up in A&E etc.

    Report this comment

    GoodRockinDaddy

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • The procedures on how to object to pub licencing (or relicencing) are published on the Norwich CityCouncil website.

    Report this comment

    expat

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • as much as Daisy Roots some time gets on my t*t's, I have to agree that her two post are spot on, the police were behind getting all night life in one easy controlled place, i,e not down Magdelan street. As they see , you reap what you sow

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Am I missing something? Are there not laws against public drunkenness and against licenced premises that sell alcohol to drunken people. Implement the law. Fine everyone that is drunk, again and again. Fine the licensed premises again and again.

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • High alcohol is bad enough on its' own for causation of violence but, mixed with a high level of caffeine in "high energy" drinks,the risks of violence is increased,the evidence for which comes from studies in Glassgow of the effects of "Buckfast" wine which contains the mixture in high proportion.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Stupid idea. The type of person whose goal in life is "getting wasted" will just drink a little more before they leave their homes. Or they'll just drink more low strength stuff. Doesn't solve the problem, because high strength drink isn't the problem. I've been saying for a while, the best cure would be to scoop up all the anti social drunks and dumped them in a fields miles away from anywhere.

    Report this comment

    dan

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Knee jerk reaction , look abroad , they have alcohol available all the time, why not here. Its just a culture change .

    Report this comment

    Euro

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Problem would soon be solved by arresting them and giving them decent sentances for committing these crimes. Stop being soft on them. Lock them up for a month or so, or fine them large amounts.

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Monday, January 27, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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