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New drive to tackle alcohol-fuelled crime amid concern over street drinking in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 13:17 30 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:40 30 June 2017

Police deal with an incident in Norwich's Prince of Wales Road. Pic: Rob Colman.

Police deal with an incident in Norwich's Prince of Wales Road. Pic: Rob Colman.

copyright 2014: Rob Colman Tel: 07905093569. No Syndication.

A drive to tackle alcohol-fuelled crime and the harm too much drinking does to the health of people in Norwich is to be stepped up next month.

Amid concern that the number people drinking high-strength beers and ciders on city centre streets, a string of organisations are to join forces to help deal with the problems alcohol can cause.

Earlier this year, Norwich was identified by the government as a place which could benefit from help to cut drink-related crime and disorder.

It was named as a Local Action Alcohol Area, with the promise of dedicated help from Home Office and Public Health experts.

And, next month will see the first meeting of the various organisations which will come up with a plan on what can be done.

At a meeting of Norwich City Council this week, Ben Price, Green councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, asked what was being done to encourage shops to stop selling super-strength alcohol.

He said: “Over the last six to 12 months, residents have reported to my colleagues and me concerns about an increase in the number of people drinking high-strength beers and ciders on the streets of Norwich, in particular in the city centre.”

Kevin Maguire, the council’s cabinet member for safe city environment, said a campaign called Healthy Norwich encouraged off-licences not to sell strong beers and ciders.

But he also revealed that talks were due within weeks over how the local area action plan could help quell drink-related violence, including ways to diversify the night-time economy.

He said: “The partners in the Norwich area action plan include the police, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust, Norfolk Public Health and Norwich City Council, who will receive dedicated support and expertise in crime prevention, licensing and public health provided by the Home Office, Public Health England and Nightworks, a company that specialises in diversifying the night-time economy.

“The first Norwich alcohol and violence local action alcohol area meeting will take place in July which will begin the development of the Norwich plan and its implementation.

“The development and roll out of the local action alcohol area will provide an opportunity for partners to consider the impacts of super strength alcohol.”

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