Norwich city centre CCTV street violence images released

media captionThe Prince of Wales Road accounts for 60% of reported violent crime in Norwich

Police have released CCTV footage of street violence to show the problems caused by early-morning drinking.

The pictures were shown to councillors considering proposals to restrict the sale of alcohol in Norwich city centre.

Councillor Paul Kendrick described the footage as "horrific".

Norfolk Police proposed a ban on the sale of alcohol from 03:00, saying it could play a major part in cutting crime and violent disorder.

The footage, which shows mass brawls on streets including Prince of Wales Road, had already been shown to members of Norwich City Council's licensing committee last year.

'Significant problems'

Mr Kendrick, a former committee chairman, said: "It was quite horrific. There were some very unpleasant scenes of violence.

"I knew this was a serious problem, but there's nothing like seeing it to actually realise the gravity of it."

Norfolk Police said that since 2005, when pubs and clubs were allowed to open longer, there had been a 210% increase in violent crime in Norwich between 03:00 and 06:00 and an increase in police hours of 12,000 per year.

The council is considering introducing early morning restriction orders (EMROs) in three areas - around Prince of Wales Road, Tombland and the Riverside development - and the plans have been put out for consultation.

The sale of alcohol would be banned between 03:00 and 06:00 from Monday to Friday and from 03:45 to 06:00 on Saturday and Sunday.

Det Supt Paul Sandford said early-morning drinking was causing "significant problems".

"We are asking the public for their views on EMROs because we think that they would make it even safer," he said.

image captionPolice said there had been a 210% increase in violence between 03:00 and 06:00 since 2005

'Bully-boy tactic'

Mike Stonard, councillor with responsibility for licensing, said: "The overwhelming majority of visitors to Norwich's night-time economy will continue to have fun and enjoy themselves.

"But these restrictions will enable the police to deal with problem behaviour much more effectively and efficiently."

Toby Middleton, operations manager for clubs including Mercy and Rocco's, said it would be seen as a "bully-boy tactic".

"The night time economy is suffering and this is just going to make the smaller business suffer [more] and have to close," he said.

"It's going to encourage people to go to local supermarkets, load up on drinks, come out of clubs slightly earlier and we're going to have more problems.

"We've got a perfectly good infrastructure but it's a three-way street of the police, council and the night-time economy and we have to work together."

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