Wednesday, November 28, 2012
People in Norwich are to be asked whether they support a move to stop alcohol being served across the city in the early hours.
Norfolk police, concerned that extended opening by bars and clubs has led to an increase in crime beyond 3am, had asked Norwich City Council to use new powers to control when they can serve alcohol.
If the council introduces what is known as an early morning restriction order, it would apply to the whole of the city.
At a meeting last night, the council unanimously agreed to advertise the order, which means the public will now be consulted over the change.
People will be asked whether they support the move and then asked which of two options they would back.
One would see the sale of alcohol in Norwich banned between 3am and 6am every day, with the exception of the area designated by the council as the late night activity zone, chiefly Prince of Wales Road and Tombland.
In that area the sale of alcohol would be banned between 3am and 6am Monday to Friday and between 4am and 6am at weekends.
The second proposal would stop alcohol sales between 2.30am and 6am, apart from in the late night activity zone, where the sale would be banned between 3am and 6am Monday to Friday and from 3.30am to 6am at weekends.
Bars and clubs in the city’s Prince of Wales Road have already voluntarily agreed to stop serving alcohol after 4am, but the police want to make it more official.
At last night’s meeting, Labour councillor Paul Kendrick, who chairs the council’s licensing committee, said: “There’s a difference between British and European cultures and sadly not a good one.
“In Norwich, like many British cities, the late night activity area is very close to residential areas. They don’t deserve to wake up at 4am to people shouting or defecating in their gardens.”
Ben Price, Green city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, welcomed the move.
He said he was regularly contacted by people in his ward complaining about anti-social behaviour.
Norfolk police have not made an application to use another new power which would have enabled a late night levy to be imposed on bars, pubs and clubs.
That late night levy would have meant the city council, as the licensing committee, could get a contribution from alcohol suppliers towards policing the night-time economy.
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