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No ‘golden bullet’ to deal with Norwich’s drink-fuelled trouble

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 January 2014

Prince of Wales Road in Norwich. A city councillor has said there is no 'golden bullet' to solve problems with drink-fuelled violence in the street.

Prince of Wales Road in Norwich. A city councillor has said there is no 'golden bullet' to solve problems with drink-fuelled violence in the street.

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There is no ‘golden bullet’ to deal with the alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour in Norwich’s Prince of Wales Road area, city councillors have been told.

The area is home to many of the city centre’s nightclubs and bars and the problems with violence have been thrust into the spotlight again, after PC Lee Wilson, 42, suffered a broken leg while policing the street.

And Norwich City Council discussed the issues at a meeting last night, after the Green group put forward a motion calling for limits on the sale of high alcohol lagers, beers and ciders in the area.

Lesley Grahame, Green councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, who proposed the motion, said: “I represent residents on the receiving end of other people’s anti-social drinking. This is a call for Norwich to get a grip on its alcohol problem.”

The Greens said a scheme called Reducing The Strength in Ipswich, where shops signed up to limit drink sales with a high alcohol volume, had helped reduce anti-social behaviour.

But Labour councillor Mike Stonard said the Greens were calling for something which was already being done, with the city council already supporting that scheme, which was originally started by the East of England Co-op.

He added Ipswich did not have a night-time economy on the same scale as Norwich and that it had been introduced in the Suffolk town to tackle street drinkers.

He said the police were still working on an Early Morning Restriction Order, to formalise an initiative which has seen bars and clubs voluntarily closing before 4am.

Mr Stonard said: “While the administration is fully committed to exploring limits to the sale of super strength alcohol, it is not the golden bullet, despite what the motion implies.”

Labour successfully amended part of the motion, which was then agreed, to ask cabinet to continue to work within the Norfolk Community Safety Partnership, the stakeholders’ forum, Healthy City participants and other interested parties to negotiate further improvements.

A motion was also agreed to ask the cabinet to request the authority’s sustainable development panel to explore the implications of building new housing to the highest possible environmental standards.

• Do you think more needs to be done to tackle problems in the city’s clubland? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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