Drinking crackdown ‘not a threat to Cromer carnival fun’

Moves to crackdown on nuisance drinkers in Cromer's streets will not damage carnival day merriment, councillors have been assured.

North Norfolk District Council's cabinet has given the go-ahead for a formal consultation on the making of a possible Designated Public Place Order in the town.

The order would give police powers to take action against those who refused to obey if an officer asked them to stop drinking within a zone which would include the town centre, sea front, Meadow golf course and North Lodge Park.

Similar orders are already in place in Sheringham, Fakenham and North Walsham.

Community safety manager Teri Munro told cabinet members that alcohol played a role in a significant proportion of crimes and anti-social behaviour in the town.

It was behind 58, or more than 12pc, of local crimes over a year, 32 of which took place in the proposed designated area. Most involved violence. Ms Munro said there was a particular problem with vagrants who came into the town centre to drink.

But councillor Clive Stockton, who runs Happisburgh's Hill House pub, was concerned that the public should realise they would not be committing an offence if they were simply drinking alcohol in the street. And he was anxious that the police should exercise their powers with discretion on carnival day when many enjoyed a drink as they stood and watched the procession pass.

Most Read

'I support the idea in principle, but it would need to be carried out with a light hand,' he said.

Ms Munro said that in Sheringham the order had actually helped swell carnival crowds because police had used their powers to weed out the all-day heavy drinkers who used to become rowdy nuisances, spoiling the family atmosphere.

The formal consultation will involve seeking the views of groups and individuals including Cromer Town Council, police and pub landlords. If there is enough evidence and support for the move, the findings will be presented to the full council which will consider whether to grant the order.