12 'Black Friday' arrests as Covid quietens weekend before Christmas

Police monitoring Prince of Wales Road in Norwich for reports of drink spiking

Norfolk Police on an earlier patrol in Norwich city centre - Credit: Neil Perry

Twelve people were arrested in the final weekend before Christmas after double the amount of officers were put on patrol around clubs and bars.

Inspector Laura Stevenson, from Norwich Police, confirmed four arrests were made on Friday night and eight the following night including one person for an alleged spiking.

She said officers took swift action on Saturday after the victim reported the crime, which is being investigated by CID officers.

Inspector Laura Stevenson from Norwich Police

Inspector Laura Stevenson from Norwich Police - Credit: Norfolk Police

The arrest comes as Norfolk Police works with venue owners to offer test kits to people who believe they have been spiked, as part of a Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital trial.

Insp Stevenson added it was quieter than usual around Prince of Wales Road, Riverside and Tombland on what has become dubbed 'Black Friday', the final weekend before Christmas which is traditionally busy with people heading out on work parties or with friends.

She said: "It wasn't as busy as we thought it would be. We have seen a reduction in people going out which could be a reflection of people not wanting to go out because of Covid."

There were roughly 41 officers, nine sergeants and one inspector on duty Saturday night, as well as officers patrolling areas in and out of the city centre to make sure people got home safely.

Normally there are 22 officers on patrol for an average weekend evening.

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Insp Stevenson said the majority of people were on good behaviour and there was a lot of positive communication between officers and clubbers.

She also praised the work of venues in terms of how they were keeping people safe, amid concerns of how the Omicron variant is spreading, through checking Covid passes.

"The regulations are being managed robustly. It was good," said Insp Stevenson.

"Norwich is a safe place to enjoy an evening. It always has been. We want to make sure people do stay safe. Our message to people is to be vigilant.

"If people are thinking of going out at the moment they need to be aware that Covid is still with us and to to follow safety measures as we have been advised."

Similar numbers of police officers are expected to be on patrol on New Year's Eve.