'This includes weed': City beauty spot demands police patrols to stamp out smoking
PUBLISHED: 06:45 31 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:28 31 August 2019
A city garden is being blighted by drug use and smoking, according to its trustees, who have asked for police patrols to stamp out the problem.
The Plantation Garden, tucked away on Norwich's Earlham Road, offers visitors a secluded spot in the centre of the city.
But trustees of the volunteer-run garden say the place's peaceful nature is being "spoilt" by smoking and illegal substance use.
In a statement shared on social media, a spokesperson for the Plantation Garden said: "Trustees of the Plantation Garden have declared the garden a no-smoking area.
"This includes smoking weed."
They added: "We profoundly apologise to visitors whose time in the garden is spoilt by smokers. We have asked for police patrols."
And a post on the garden's Facebook page stated: "This is a polite reminder that we do not allow dogs in the garden (other than assistance dogs) and we do not permit smoking or alcohol use.
"The police are aware of regular anti social activity that is occurring and we have asked that they patrol the garden.
"Please be respectful and think of other people by observing these regulations."
Committee chairman Roger Connah said: "We decided about three months ago and put a sign up saying no smoking in the garden because this was becoming more and more of an issue.
"This also gives us a reason to say to anyone smoking cannabis that it's a no smoking garden.
"We've asked the police for advice as the smoking of cannabis does offend our visitors."
Mr Connah added: "It's always been an issue, but it's becoming more of a problem after the Chapelfield Gardens clampdown."
He said the trustees had approached police at the end of last week.
"We're asking the public to inform police as the garden is not manned 24/7," he added.
"People do love this place and want it respected.
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"I think if police were seen in there a few times it would do enough to reduce the issue.
"It won't go away completely."
And visitors to the garden shared their frustration over the issues, with some taking to social media to air their concerns.
Gary Price said: "Wow, some people just have no respect.
"Very nice place to visit and this behaviour has no place in the gardens."
While Mark Lee said: "My son was hoping to find a peaceful bolt hole but had the same experience with the drinking and smoking on his first visit.
"Unfortunately I think it's put him off for good.
"Such a shame."
Lyn Coleman added: "What a shame that you would need to put up a notice like this.
"There are always those who will seek to spoil the enjoyment of these beautiful places.
"Very glad of the alcohol and smoking ban."
And Nadine Weeks said: "When we visited a few weeks ago we came across a group of lads drinking and smoking weed with music blaring out.
"It is such a shame that they decide to do this at such a beautiful place.
"The police did come whilst we were there and sorted it."
Norfolk Police were approached for comment, but were unable to confirm whether patrols of the garden would take place ahead of publication.
However, Mr Connah confirmed he would be meeting with police next week to discuss the issue.
The Plantation Garden is open from 9am to 6pm every day of the year, and people pay through an honesty box.
- Do you think the Plantation Garden should be a smoke-free space? Email reporter Jessica.Frank-Keyes@archant.co.uk