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Norwich is safe and open for business, says nightclub manager, after firearm scare

PUBLISHED: 20:27 23 September 2017 | UPDATED: 20:41 23 September 2017

Prince of Wales Road. Picture Archant.

Prince of Wales Road. Picture Archant.

Archant

A nightclub manager has said Norwich’s Prince of Wales Road is safe and open for business after a man was arrested with an imitation firearm on Friday.

Prince of Wales Road in Norwich. Pic: Dan Grimmer Prince of Wales Road in Norwich. Pic: Dan Grimmer

Jason Payne, general manger of Mercy, said the drama happened at 10.22pm outside the popular night spot.

He said: “A white man showed what appeared to be a firearm to a member of our door staff and then to door staff at Flaunt and Lace.

“Within seconds a phonecall was made to Norfolk Constabulary to relate what we had just seen and he was arrested minutes after the initial call - with help from one of our door staff.”

Mr Payne said a member of their door staff, Alex, had gone with armed police to identify the man, who was then arrested in Bedford Street, on suspicion of possessing an imitation firearm.

Jason Payne, general manager at Mercy. Photo: Simon Finlay Jason Payne, general manager at Mercy. Photo: Simon Finlay

But Mr Payne said the incident was unheard in Norwich, and the city was still a safe night out.

“It doesn’t happen here, in the bigger cities like London maybe but not in Norwich,” he added.

He also had praise for both his door staff, and the police, who arrested the man within four minutes of the initial call.

“Our security are all very vigilant at all times,” he said. “We scan the ID of everyone that enters the club, and anyone on the system who flags up for causing trouble or who are intoxicated are refused entry.

Supt Dave Buckley, head of community safety at Norfolk police Supt Dave Buckley, head of community safety at Norfolk police

“And we are the only door in Norwich which searches everyone as a condition of entry.”

MORE: Armed police make arrest after reports of gun being pointed in Norwich’s Prince of Wales Road



He added: “Our security are trained to spot trouble before it happens and we pride ourselves on being the safest club in the city, even though we have the highest footfall.

“As you can imagine security is paramount at the moment with everything that’s happening in recent months around the world, I’m very proud and pleased my door staff acted in such a professional manner and it just goes to show you can never be too careful.”

The arrested man was taken to Wymondham Police Investigation Centre for questioning, where he remains. No one was hurt in the incident.

Superintendent Dave Buckley said: “Officers managed to resolve the incident promptly, with the man detained three minutes after the 999 call was made.

“This is not currently being treated as a terror-related incident. We are treating it as an isolated incident and there is not believed to be any wider threat to the public.”

Police had previously stated the incident occurred outside Mantra nightclub, but have confirmed that was not correct and apologised.

Detectives are keen to speak to anyone with any further information on the incident. They are asked to contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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