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Drug-dealing and dogs terrorising fox cubs after cemetery gates reopened

PUBLISHED: 07:46 25 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:53 25 July 2018

Norwich City Council has received complaints that re-opening gates at Earlham Cemetery has led to an increase in anti-social behaviour Photo: Steve Adams

Norwich City Council has received complaints that re-opening gates at Earlham Cemetery has led to an increase in anti-social behaviour Photo: Steve Adams

Fears have been raised that a Norwich cemetery has become a hotbed of anti-social behaviour following the reopening of a pedestrian gate into it.

War memorial at Ealrham Cemetery. Picture: Paul BushellWar memorial at Ealrham Cemetery. Picture: Paul Bushell

The St Thomas’ Road Gate to Earlham Road Cemetery was reopened for access by Norwich City Council at the end of 2017, following more than 20 years of closure.

However, four people who live nearby all lodged questions to Norwich City Council expressing safety fears as a result of the reopening.

Among the fears are reports of anti-social behaviour, drug taking and dealing taking place in the cemetery.

One resident complained of “the gate smelling heavily of cannabis, making the residents on the street feel very intimidated”.

Another said: “I feel intimidated by drug dealers who use our gate to meet clients in the cemetery. I live on my own and this is not acceptable.”

Alongside the fears about drug activity in the area, there were also concerns about dogs being walked off the lead and fouling in the cemetery.

One complainant asked: “Is the council going to do something about the increase in anti-social behaviour caused by dog walkers allowing their dogs to chase peoples’ pets and Earlham cemetery wildlife such as the resident deer and fox cubs?

“There has also been an increase in dogs fouling footpaths and graves since the gate was opening in November 2017.”

One of the questioners displayed photographs of both a dog in the cemetery off its lead and an alleged drug deal.

However Matthew Packer, the council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said the number of complaints he had received were outweighed by those who gave feedback in favour of reopening the gate to the public.

He said: “There are many people who use the cemetery for peace and tranquillity and the reopening has led to a growth in its access and openness.

“If members of the public are concerned about potential anti-social behaviour I would urge them to report it to both the police and to the council.

“If evidence is provided to the council and the police we can then work to find a solution to any problems.”

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