Double the amount of officers to patrol city clubland this weekend
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Twice as many police officers will be on guard in the city's clubland this weekend with on the spot tests also being rolled out to clamp down on drink spiking.
Superintendent Terry Lordan, district commander for Norwich, said 40 officers would be visible on Prince of Wales Road, Riverside and Tombland this Friday and Saturday night compared to the usual 22 which are out for an average weekend evening.
But as well as the main hotspots for late-night activity, officers will also be keeping an eye on well-used routes out of the city centre to make sure vulnerable people get home safely.
Supt Lordan was speaking as Norfolk Police joins forces with clubs and bar owners, the SOS bus and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for a pioneering nationwide pilot of test kits that can detect if someone has been spiked.
He said: "My plea to people this weekend is look after each other.
"We are a very safe place for people to come out and enjoy meeting friends in the run up to Christmas.
"But at this time of year there is a propensity to overindulge. We want to work with venues and help people to feel safe and be safe."
He added: "If anyone has concerns please speak to one of the many officers that will be out this weekend. I want officers on foot so people can engage directly with us."
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The city officer added that he was pleased that Norwich was "leading the way" with cracking down on spineless criminals spiking victims on nights out.
"Over the last few months the number of spikings nationally has gone up. We will continue to push the boat out to make sure we are doing a thorough job on acting on any reports.
"We are pleased to have the option of tests on the ground," Supt Lordan added.
The tests, which can be done through a urine sample, a swab from a suspected area where a needle may have been inserted into a person or drink samples, can be analysed in two days.
The district commander added said the results would help investigations of spikings and the results of the trial will be evaluated in the new year.