Go-ahead for crackdown on nuisance drinkers in Cromer
Police have been given powers to tackle anti-social drinking in a north Norfolk resort, amid warnings that the move may be wrongly targeted.
Members of North Norfolk District Council's cabinet have given the go-ahead for a Designated Public Place Order covering an area of central Cromer.
Although drinking alcohol in public will not be banned, police will be able to require people to stop drinking in public areas within the designated zone.
The move follows a number of incidents in the town, with the police reporting that between October 2009 and October 2010 a total of 58 alcohol-related offences were reported within Cromer – 12.5pc of the total crime for the town.
But Keith Johnson told fellow cabinet members, meeting on Monday, that most of those incidents had been committed by two vagrants who had since left Cromer.
He questioned whether it was therefore appropriate to 'blanket' a large area of the town as an Order zone.
The designated area stretches from the Runton Road car park to North Lodge park, incluing the pier, and inland to the Meadow golf course.
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Mr Johnson also told members that there had been a number of incidents of late-night damage in the Suffield Park area of the town over recent weeks. If anti-social behaviour had been displaced, Mr Johnson asked whether the zone boundaries should reflect that.
Trevor Ivory, the district's cabinet member for licensing, said there would be opportunities to review the Order and widen or reduce the area it covered.
Mr Ivory added: 'This Order doesn't stop anyone from enjoying the odd tipple on the prom. It just gives police powers to stop it if it gets out of hand.
The plan has already received broad backing from the public and others consulted, including the police, Cromer Town Council, pubs and other licensed premises.