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'I'll bomb City Hall' - threats of violence which triggered council building bans revealed

PUBLISHED: 08:02 10 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:30 10 November 2019

City Hall in Norwich         Photo: Nick Butcher

City Hall in Norwich Photo: Nick Butcher

EDP pics © 2007

A person who threatened to kill a member of the public because they were angry at Norwich City Council and another who said they would bomb City Hall are among dozens of people banned from council buildings this year.

People have also been banned from libraries for looking at "inappropriate content" on public computers and for anti-social behaviour, including hurling books at staff.

The bans were revealed after a Freedom Of Information Act request to local authorities, painting a disturbing picture of some of the abuse council staff have to endure.

Twenty-one people were banned from Norwich City Council buildings in 2018/19 - a big increase on the seven banned in 2017/18.

Among them was a person who went to City Hall for a homelessness appointment, but "upon receiving a negative response" threatened to go out and kill a member of the public.

That led to the police being called and a ban, while another was banned for being aggressive to council officers and "threats to bomb City Hall".

A man with "an extensive" criminal record for violence, including sexual violence, was banned after making threats against a female council worker.

Others were abusive and aggressive towards City Hall staff. One threw a mobile phone at a worker, another spat and bit council staff and another refused to leave the customer contact centre for two days in a row.

A Norwich City Council spokeswoman said: "The safety of our employees is of paramount importance ,which means we take a fair but firm stance on anyone who poses a threat to our staff and we call on the police whenever needed.

"A ban on access to council premises is only given when absolutely necessary and these are reviewed after a year."

Norfolk County Council banned 11 people from its libraries in 2019 and 10 in 2018, including for looking at inappropriate content on computers and for throwing books at staff.

A Norfolk County Council spokeswoman said: "There are very few incidents each year where staff need to ban users of council services.

"All visitors to our buildings have a right to enjoy and use services like our libraries without being disturbed by abusive behaviour or language, which is why we take any abuse directed at staff or other visitors very seriously."

One person was banned by from the King's Lynn Corn Exchange by West Norfolk Council for defacing council property.

And more than 160 people were banned from libraries in Suffolk in the past two years, including eight for riding bicycles in libraries and one for defecating in a sink.

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