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Community welcomes Norwich internet cafe closure following anti-social behaviour concerns

PUBLISHED: 06:30 17 October 2011

L's Foods and Accessories, Distillery Square, Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams

L's Foods and Accessories, Distillery Square, Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams

Archant 2011 0

People living near to an internet cafe which has been closed down for the next three months, following complaints about anti-social behaviour, have welcomed the move.

As reported in the Evening News on Saturday, the cafe in Distillery Square, off Dereham Road, was boarded-up after police used special legislation to obtain a closure notice in relation to a premises which has become a hotbed of anti-social behaviour.

It is the first time the police have used the legislation in the county and follows several complaints about the cafe, which has been raided twice in the past 18 months after police received information about alleged drugs offences taking place there.

People living near to the cafe, which is close to a sheltered housing complex, said they were pleased it had been closed and hoped it would be for longer than three months.

A 45-year-old father-of-three who lives near to the cafe, but who did not want to be named, said: “Everyone around here would be pleased its closed down apart from the people that actually use it.

“We all know that stuff goes on there - it’ a meeting place for drunks and drug users. In the past we’ve had trouble with drunks and it attracts drunks back. It just makes older people nervous when they go to the shops.”

A 76-year-old man, who lives near to the cafe, but did not want to be named, said: “I’m pleased it’s been closed down - it might stop all the drinking.”

Another man, who also wanted to remain anonymous, said he was not personally troubled by what happened at the cafe, but was aware there were some who might have been.

He said: “I don’t know what they did in there but they used to make a fair bit of noise and there’s an old people’s home there. It didn’t bother me, but it might other people.”

Officers appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Friday when they sought a closure order under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.

The closure was granted after police were able to put forward a strong case about the sustained and excessive anti-social behaviour taking place at the café.

Superintendent Paul Sanford of Norfolk Constabulary, said: “We hope the local residents can now enjoy a quieter and less disorderly neighbourhood as a result of the action taken by police.”

As previously reported the manager of the café, who only gave his name as Mike, said the situation was “very unfair” and would be looking to appeal the decision.

Have you got a crime story? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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