Bars back police using drones to clamp down on drink spiking

A member of the Norfolk Police drone team pilots the thermal camera over Norwich

A member of the Norfolk Police drone team pilots the thermal camera over Norwich during Halloween celebrations on Saturday night. - Credit: Neil Perry/Archant

Bars in the city's clubland have welcomed police action to combat drink spiking after a spate of spineless attacks. 

Norfolk Police used drones this weekend in response to recent reports of drink spiking and criminal activity in Prince of Wales Road.

And the cops have confirmed they will use drones where appropriate on key dates moving forward. 

A spokeswoman for the police said there are no plans to fly more than one drone at once. 

Saturday night saw the drone being used for the first time in order to police the night-time economy and nine people were arrested.

Richard Chisnell, owner of the Sherbert Lemon bar and Fat Fox Pizza Den in Prince of Wales Road, welcomed the police presence over the weekend.

He said: "I think the drones are a very good idea to help identify people. There are always people being sick or collapsing along the alleyway next door so it could also help with that.

"I just hope the police keep it up, especially on Fridays."

Richard Chisnell

Richard Chisnell, owner of Sherbet Lemon in Norwich - Credit: Archant

Police officers visited the bar on Friday to give advice to door staff on drink spiking.

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The venues also communicate with one another if anyone is looking vulnerable or suspicious. 

Keir Slater, manager of the Mr Postles' bar nearby in Upper King Street said his venue has three security staff on weekend nights, in addition to bag and coat searches to prevent drink spiking.

Although the venue has not had any instances of the crime, Mr Slater is ensuring staff remain vigilant.

Mr Postles' Apothecary in Upper King Street. Picture: D Faulkner

Mr Postles' Apothecary in Upper King Street. Picture: D Faulkner - Credit: Archant

Mr Slater added that officers are easy to get hold of if any suspicions of drink spiking are raised.

He added: "It's good to have police doing more things in the area. They are mainly centred around Prince of Wales Road. 

"There is no downside to police using the drone and it is able to monitor movements on back alleys. Historically there have been instances of people heading in the direction of the cathedral in a bid to get away.

"Being able to use thermal imaging can only be a good thing." 

.An officer watches Halloween clubbers on Prince of Wales Road

An officer watches Halloween clubbers in Prince of Wales Road - Credit: Neil Perry/Archant

The majority of the weekend arrests were drunk and disorderly offences but one person was arrested on suspicion of drink spiking.  

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