Staff in Norwich Wetherspoon's now wearing body cams, chain confirms
PUBLISHED: 06:48 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:12 14 February 2020
Pub chain JD Wetherspoons has confirmed staff in one of its Norwich venues are now wearing body cameras, after a rise in violence and crime against them.
The firm says it is taking a "zero tolerance" stance to reduce violence following a rise in crime at its 900 pubs around the country, and a duty manager for The Bell Hotel in Norwich confirmed managers were already wearing the body cameras.
It comes as new figures show police were called to Norfolk's JD Wetherspoon pubs around once a week in the last year.
The body camera scheme is understood to have been first trialled nationally last October, and rolled out to other pubs earlier this year.
And figures have shown that, from possession of cannabis and cocaine to theft and assault, Norfolk Constabulary was called 56 times to Wetherspoon branches in 2019.
The data also shows that 28 arrests had to be made at or near the county's Wetherspoon pubs.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: "Wetherspoon has zero tolerance towards crime and anti social behaviour in its pubs.
"Our pubs are some of the busiest and most popular in the region, and on occasion, crime and anti social behaviour takes place.
"We will redouble our efforts to ensure that this is kept to a minimum.
"It should be noted that police are sometimes called to Wetherspoon pubs because someone might have phoned from the pub or used the pub as a location when no incident actually took place in the pub."
Here are the crimes reported at all 10 of the Wetherspoon pubs in Norfolk during 2019:
- The Red Lion, Thetford
One person was arrested at The Red Lion, but the offence has not been revealed as it occurred outside the pub and police used the address for the purposes of crime recording.
- The Romany Rye, Dereham
Two people were arrested at The Romany Rye in Dereham, for events which again happened outside, with police using the address to log the incident.
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- The Glasshouse, Norwich
Officers were called to the Glasshouse once for a sexual assault on a female, where they made an arrest. Another person was also arrested outside of the pub, with the address used for crime recording.
- The Limes, Fakenham
Police had to attend The Limes four times in 2019. They made two arrests after four separate incidents including two thefts, a person possessing cannabis and an assault without injury.
- The Queen of Iceni, Norwich
With one of the highest rates of theft, police were called to the riverside Wetherspoon five times in 2019. After an assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH), an attempted theft from the pub, an attempted theft from another customer, a theft of a bicycle and a minor wound with intent, officers only made one arrest.
- The Whiffler, Norwich
Police were called to The Whiffler six times in 2019, after an incident of ABH, an affray, an assault without injury, a fraud, criminal damage to a building under £5,000 and one incident of sending letters with intent to cause distress or anxiety. One arrest was made.
- The Whalebone, Downham Market
Police were called on nine separate occasions to The Whalebone in Downham Market. Three arrests were made after several reported incidents of harassment, provocation of violence, theft from a person. Police were also called three times for people possessing the class A drug cocaine.
- The Bell Hotel, Norwich
Police were called to The Bell Hotel 15 times in 2019, with incidents including three assaults causing actual bodily harm, two assaults without injury, eight reported thefts and one threat to destroy or damage property. Two arrests were made.
- The Troll Cart, Great Yarmouth
Police were called 16 times and made six arrests after the following incidents were reported at the Troll Cart: One person possessing cocaine, one incident of ABH, three assaults without injury, five thefts, three reports of criminal damage under £5,000, two incidents of harassment and one sexual assault on a female.
- The Globe Hotel, King's Lynn
In 2019, eight people were arrested at or near the Globe Hotel in King's Lynn. No details have been revealed as the incident is believed to have happened outside the pub, with the address used to record it.