Norwich police want heritage watchdog to help inform debate around city’s late night economy

A Norwich police chief says he hopes a city heritage watchdog will be 'active participants' in the consultation on new legislation surrounding a late night levy to help tackle crime and disorderly behaviour in the early hours of the morning.

The Norwich Society has raised 'growing concern' about the spread and impact of late-night drinking premises which it says are contributing to 'noxious' anti-social behaviour in Norwich.

The watchdog's policy paper on the night-time economy, released last week, calls on the authorities to consider the cumulative effect of late-night licensing when new applications are considered.

Today, Norwich policing commander Superintendent Paul Sanford, right, said he welcomed the policy statement and hoped new legislation might help make an impact in terms of combating crime and disorder.

He said: 'There is no doubt that the 2003 Licensing Act has led to a larger and later Norwich night time economy. This has had the consequence of increasing crime and disorderly behaviour in the early hours of the morning. The police and Norwich City Council have already met to discuss how the powers that will be provided by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act could be applied in Norwich.

'We have particularly discussed making use of the late night levy and early morning restriction orders (EMROs) with an aim of reducing crime and disorder. I welcome the policy statement made by the Norwich Society and hope that they will be active participants in the upcoming consultation on the new legislation.'

The watchdog said Norwich needs to develop a healthy leisure economy, made up of traditional bars closing at midnight or earlier, which should be protected from the spread of the night-time economy.