Police called to restaurant after row over free scotch egg offer

CCTV footage from inside No. Twenty9 in Burnham Market, showing Mr Roberts and the Covid marshals. 

CCTV footage from inside No. Twenty9 in Burnham Market, showing Mr Roberts and the Covid marshals. - Credit: Tim Roberts

The owner of a Norfolk restaurant has hit out at what he claims were 'bullying' actions of a pair of Covid marshals after a visit to his venue ended up with him calling the police.

Tim Roberts, owner of No. Twenty9 Bar and Restaurant in Burnham Market, said he planned to lodge a formal complaint against King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council after a visit by Covid marshals ended in him calling the police. 

However King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council said they were merely enforcing the rules around 'substantial meals' on offer during the Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions.

Tim Roberts, owner of No. Twenty9 in Burnham Market.

Tim Roberts, owner of No. Twenty9 in Burnham Market. - Credit: Tim Roberts

"I'm absolutely appalled at this sort of treatment," Mr Roberts said. "It's bullying and harassment at best. It's ridiculous. We're not a wet pub, this is a fine dining restaurant in Burnham Market.

"What they wanted to do was walk around my restaurant in their brand new high-viz with their cameras strapped around their necks and and see what was going on. It's not acceptable. That's not their remit." 

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Mr Roberts thought he had been singled out because he had circulated an offer on social media offering a free scotch egg, chips and salad to anyone who wanted to come in for a drink.

Mr Roberts said one marshal came to the Market Place venue on Friday, December 4 to assess whether what they were serving as a 'substantial meal'. The marshal returned later on with a colleague, and he claims they attempted to push pass a rope barrier over the door that was being used to to control the flow of people into the restaurant. 

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Mr Roberts said he was "infuriated" and escorted the marshals out the door. He later called the police when they continued to stand in the entrance "intimidating my arriving diners". But while he was on the phone to the operator, the marshals left.

A spokesman from the council said the visit followed a complaint that the restaurant was advertising a free scotch egg when someone bought an alcoholic drink. The spokesman said the council called Mr Roberts on December 3 to explain that scotch egg with an alcoholic drink was not a substantial meal.

"The owner was asked to stop offering this," the spokesman said. "A letter and business advice was also sent to the owner highlighting the Covid business regulations."

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