Ambulances tied up at weekends with 999 calls from Prince of Wales Road

Celebrating NewYears 2015 in Norwich, alot of people taxi home, but some found themselves leaving by

Celebrating NewYears 2015 in Norwich, alot of people taxi home, but some found themselves leaving by ambulance on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

Alcohol-related 999 calls to Prince of Wales Road in Norwich are spiralling and adding to the pressure on the ambulance service, new figures reveal.

Celebrating NewYears 2015 in Norwich, too much alcohol and this guy finds himself tree hugging on Pr

Celebrating NewYears 2015 in Norwich, too much alcohol and this guy finds himself tree hugging on Prince of Wales Road Norwich. - Credit: Archant

Almost half of all call-outs on the clubland area come between 9pm and 6am on a SaturdaySunday as paramedics are forced to deal with people unconscious, ill, or suffering falls while drunk.

New measures are now helping police reduce disorder in the area, once dubbed the 'most dangerous street in Norfolk' by a senior police officer.

In 2013, plans were floated to introduce early morning restrictions orders, and last year a cumulative impact policy was put in place to impose more stringent restrictions on new venues.

But new figures show the number of emergency calls for the Prince of Wales and Riverside areas have risen sharply over recent years, from 450 in 2013-14, to 588 in 2014-15.

St John Ambulance, First Aid - SOS Bus on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich on a Saturday night.

St John Ambulance, First Aid - SOS Bus on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich on a Saturday night. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

The number of assaults, falls with injury, sick and unconscious people peak from 9pm to 6am on weekends.

Total calls rise from 37 on a Sunday evening to 137 on a Saturday night, while the East of England Ambulance Service Trust has said it 'increases resourcing at times of high demand' accordingly.

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Over the last 10 months, the number of call-outs has hit 487.

'Alcohol-related 999 calls reduce our ability to respond to patients whom are seriously ill or injured,' said a spokesman.

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'Our staff work closely with the volunteers at the SOS Bus in Norwich to provide a safe haven for visitors to the city centre on Fridays and Saturdays.

'Would you want a member of your family to have to wait for an ambulance because we are already responding to someone whom has really overdone it?'

Insp Ed Brown, licensing inspector at Norfolk Police, said a 'decline in footfall' in the area over recent years was not helping reduce disorder for Prince of Wales Road.

'Prince of Wales Road is the centre of nightlife in Norfolk, and there is an awful lot of licensed premises down there where we get people consuming alcohol, and that could be manifested in terms of injury or illness,' he said.

'Just because there is a low footfall, doesn't mean we don't have problems. When it's quiet, that's when people tend to misbehave. On Halloween we had tens of thousands of people out but with relatively low crime and disorder.'

Insp Brown added the cumulative impact policy brought in last year is helping forge better relationships between police and late-night premises.

'There are a number of things that hold Prince of Wales Road back, and one is the sheer number of licensed premises we have in Norwich city centre,' he said.

'It is a lot better working with the trade than it has been in the past, and that could be one reason why there is an increase in ambulance calls; we encourage pubs and clubs to make contact with emergency services rather than throw someone out the back door.

'There are no quick fixes but generally if you look at the city and the way it is developing it is improving and becoming more diverse.'

The EEAST spokesman added: 'We ask everyone to enjoy themselves but know their limits. If you are out and about, please make sure that you have a plan to get home safe to your loved ones.'

What do you think? Email Norwich Evening News letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk giving your full name, address and contact details.

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