Pub counts the cost after weekend of disorder in Cromer

Nick Copeman and Leona Hopwood at the Wellington pub in Cromer. Pictures: David Bale

Nick Copeman and Leona Hopwood at the Wellington pub in Cromer. Pictures: David Bale - Credit: Archant

Businesses in Cromer lost thousands of pounds in takings at the weekend after closing for more than 24 hours because of public disorder.

Bar staff Kelsey Evans and George Paxton at the Wellington pub in Cromer. Pictures: David Bale

Bar staff Kelsey Evans and George Paxton at the Wellington pub in Cromer. Pictures: David Bale - Credit: Archant

Staff at the Wellington pub in the town centre said that a group of travellers were drinking at the venue around lunchtime on Saturday.

They said that the group of about 17 men became rowdy and started intimidating other customers and staff.

The police were called and they asked the travellers to leave. The staff then decided to close the pub early in fear of further trouble. The pub was closed until about 4.30pm on Sunday.

Pub owner Leona Hopwood said: 'We must have lost a lot in trade because of the closure. Insurance won't cover it, so we will just have to stand it.'

Lee Sale of Windows ice cream shop in Cromer. Pictures: David Bale

Lee Sale of Windows ice cream shop in Cromer. Pictures: David Bale - Credit: Archant

The pub's manager Nick Copeman said: 'We were told by police on Saturday that they only had four officers on duty that day. You would have thought that after trouble flared up on the previous Friday night, they would have had a contingency plan in place.

'It's disgusting that the police had so few officers available. They should hang their heads in shame.'

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Barmaid Kelsey Evans said she went home early because she felt so intimidated by the group.

Lee Sale, owner of the nearby Windows ice cream shop, said: 'There was a lot of intimidation on Saturday. A lot of drunken people about. It was the older generation of travellers that came down on Saturday. On Sunday it was the younger travellers causing a lot of trouble, throwing things around in the arcade. It was the last week of carnival, so we could have done without it.

'The police have said that it was low level disorder, but I think intimidation is just as bad as any other disorder.

'There were a lot of old people about and families walking around on holiday. We could have done with more police about.'

A spokesman for North Norfolk District Council said that no damage had been caused to the Runton Road car park or toilets, where the travellers stayed.

Police have denied that Cromer was on 'lock down' at the weekend and defended their response after being accused of standing by during an escalation in public disorder.

Deputy chief constable Nick Dean insisted Cromer was a 'safe town' and the weekend was an 'isolated incident'.

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