MP’s call to end Norwich binge drinking

A Norwich MP is calling for tougher action to tackle binge drinking and protect residents from the excesses of the city's night life.

Simon Wright spent Saturday evening in Prince of Wales Road learning first hand from the police, voluntary groups and businesses about how they dealt with thousands of weekend revellers flooding into the city and the associated problems such as drunkenness and disorder.

'I wanted to see for myself how the police are working along Prince of Wales Road to make the area as safe as possible for both residents and also for those on a night out.

'I was particularly impressed by the commitment and professionalism displayed by the police and also the way in which various organisations worked together.

The Lib Dem MP spent time with city police inspector Mark Haddow, and teams from the SOS bus. He also spoke to night club staff.

The visit comes as Norwich City Council will on Thursday consider responses to a government consultation on a review of licensing policy in the city and whether any changes should be made.

The previous Labour government introduced the current licensing laws in 2003, which were aimed at creating a continental cafe style culture, but critics fear it has led to more binge drinking and disorder in cities such as Norwich and the coalition government agreed to carry out a review.

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'I have always had concerns about the sale of pocket-money priced alcohol,' Mr Wright added. 'It was very clear on Saturday night that there were young people arriving in the road, who had already had far too much to drink, because they had got the alcohol cheaply beforehand.

'We need to look at reviewing this quickly, and we need to see how we can strengthen the rights of residents and give police more powers to intervene.'