Police called to troublespot Norwich hotel 324 times in two years

Two Victorian buildings, which formed the NR2 hotel, in Earlham Road, Norwich, are up for sale. Pic:

Two Victorian buildings, which formed the NR2 hotel, in Earlham Road, Norwich, are up for sale. Pic: Christie & Co - Credit: Archant

Police have been called to a troublespot hotel an average of once every two days over the last two years, but the new owners have promised their grand-reopening next month will mark the beginning of a new chapter.

Norfolk Police have recorded 324 incidents at the buildings called The Beeches and the Governor’s Lodge at 2-6 Earlham Road since August 2019, 46 of which included violence.

The property, now trading as the Cathedral Hotel and previously known as NR2 Hotels Ltd, has been plagued for years by reports of anti-social behaviour, drug taking and prostitution.

During the coronavirus lockdowns it was used to house the city’s rough sleepers as part of the Everyone In initiative.

Calls to Norfolk Police about the Cathedral Hotel on Earlham Road

Calls to Norfolk Police about the Cathedral Hotel on Earlham Road. Includes the period August 2019 to April 2021 under previous ownership. - Credit: Norfolk Police

Police were called to the property 53 times in May of 2020 alone, during the first lockdown, an average of nearly twice a day.

A spokesman for Shop In Time, which took over the property in May, said that it was not fair to judge the new business on the reputation of its predecessor and said the new owners had invested more than £3m to improve the location. 

He said: “We’re improving all the rooms, we’re putting in windows, it’s going to be completely different and much better.

He said that all council-places tenants had now been moved on, and that neighbours would soon be proud of the hotel in their midst. 

In recent months police figures have been lower, with nine calls in May, seven in June, and just two in early July. 

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In total the force has recorded 46 instances of violence, 80 instances of suspicious circumstances or nuisance, and 67 of breaching a health order - mainly coronavirus matters - over the last two years.

The police figures, obtained after a Freedom Of Information request by this newspaper, also reveal incidents of sexual assault, domestic violence, drug-taking, and one sudden death - that of former manager Stuart Turner.

Stuart Turner, general manager of the newly-opened Apsect Housing hotel on Earlham Road, Norwich.

Former general manager Stuart Turner had been out feeding the homeless hours before he died at the hotel on April 19, days before his 57th birthday - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Of the 324 reports, 59 were grade D and did not need an in-person police response, and 25 were grade C meaning a matter which required police to attend within 24 hours.

But 101 were Grade B meaning “go now” and 122 were Grade A “go immediately” incidents. 

A police spokesperson said: “During the first lockdown officers were called regularly to the location. However, this was almost a year ago and the number of incidents have since reduced, with agencies working closer together to assist those with vulnerabilities.

“A number of the residents have complex needs requiring assistance from differing professional services. Police attend weekly multi-agency meetings, working with the relevant agencies and supporting the local community to address local concerns and issues.”

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