Concerns over new gangs at park where shooting took place

Fat Cat owner Colin Keatley in the West End Street Gardens opposite his pub 

The Fat Cat owner Colin Keatley in the West End Street Gardens opposite his pub - Credit: Ben Hardy

People living near a city park blighted by gangs have said they welcome moves to deter anti-social behaviour -  but worry it won't be enough. 

Work is continuing to take place at West End Street Gardens - off Adelaide Street in Heigham Grove. 

The area gained a reputation for being a crime hotspot after it was the scene of a shooting in June 2018.

A teenager from London was shot and two men, Kallum Eastall and Jake Brittain, were jailed for up to 27 years for attempted robbery, having a firearm with intent to commit robbery and possession of two 15-inch knives. 

The police cordon around woodland on Adelaide Street in Norwich and surrounding roads after a shooti

The police cordon on Adelaide Street and West End Street after the shooting in 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

And now concerns have been expressed over gangs of six to 20 people spotted hanging around in the park as the nights draw in. 

Colin Keatley, owner of the Fat Cat pub, has a bedroom window which overlooks the park above his business.

The landlord said: "We have had unruly people standing in there and making a racket. It seems to go through phases both bad and good.

"It has been an ongoing issue in this area, I see half a dozen people hanging around benches and the like just from my window."

Police searching a park off Adelaide Street, Norwich, after a shooting.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Police searching the park after the shooting in 2018 - Credit: Archant

Most Read

A full-time carer living in the area, who did not wish to be identified, has contacted the police over the recent issues out of fears over his safety. 

He said: "I've walked past and there's been a circle of 20 plus people just hanging around in the dark."

The city council has recently been carrying out a refurbishment project at the park which saw the green space closed off for around six weeks in November and December. 

Work continues to take place to refurbish West End Street Gardens 

Work continues to take place to refurbish West End Street Gardens - Credit: Ben Hardy

The majority of the gardens have now been reopened but some work continues with fencing still visible in some spaces.

Park users said the work has helped to deter some anti-social behaviour as the benches have been removed where people used to gather.

The park is also more open after greenery was cut back along paths.

West End Street Gardens where the city council have been making changes

West End Street Gardens where the city council have been making changes - Credit: Ben Hardy

A 77-year-old woman living nearby, who also did not wish to be named, said: "I also see a lot of people hanging about at the bottom of Armes Street - it's scary."

Superintendent Terry Lordan, Norwich policing commander said: “Local beat managers regularly patrol that area and we’ve worked closely with the council around work that has been carried out at the park.

"We would urge anyone with concerns to speak with their local officers.”