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.

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