Drayton & Taverham

Norwich nightspots armed with breathalysers

Just Regional
Nov 29, 2013 3 mins read

Party-goers heading to Norwich at the weekend may be asked to take a breath test as they enter pubs and clubs.

From Saturday (30 November) door staff at up to 30 venues will be able to use breathalysers to see if clubbers are sober enough.

Police will be handing out kits to venues for a month-long trial after they were used successfully in a clubland operation earlier this year.

In September officers teamed up with door staff at two venues to carry out voluntary breath tests on clubbers in a bid to raise awareness of issues around pre-loading and binge drinking.

The exercise was well-received and police hope the tests, which now may be used as a condition of entry, will get clubbers thinking about the amounts of alcohol they drink before heading out.

Inspector Ed Brown, from the Constabulary’s licensing team, said: “These kits will allow door staff to better gauge how much alcohol someone has had and in turn help them refuse entry to someone who is too drunk. This gives additional protection to venues who might otherwise be concerned at the prospect of inadvertently selling alcohol to somebody who is already drunk which is obviously an offence.

“It’s about getting people to realise how much alcohol they are drinking before heading into clubs. All too often we deal with people who are so drunk they cannot think straight and can barely walk. They lose all sense of responsibility which clearly makes them vulnerable and that’s where the risk increases of someone becoming a victim of crime, being injured or involved in violence and disorder.

“Officers and volunteers from the many support services which operate in the night time economy will intervene when they see someone who is vulnerable but we want individuals to take responsibility for their actions.

“It’s more about supporting venues and assisting door staff in turning people away who may not always appear drunk on the surface. We look forward to getting feedback from the bars and clubs and how people respond to the trial.”

The breath tests have been provided by Norfolk Police but will be used and carried out by door staff at venues. Signs titled ‘Are you trollied? #DeepBreath’ will be displayed in venues taking part in the scheme, explaining that clubbers may be required to take a breath test as a condition of entry.

Venues will keep a record of readings and this information will be evaluated after the month-long trial. No limit has been set at which to refuse entry – clubs will be expected to be responsible and set their own limits.

Reducing violent crime and alcohol-related anti-social behaviour remains a priority for Norfolk Police who are working closely with venues to tackle issues and improve safety in the night time economy. Police regularly hold campaigns in the city’s clubland, including Operation Impact which sees dozens more officers on the street reinforcing the message that violence and disorder will not be tolerated. Work also continues on applications for EMROs (Early Morning Restriction Orders) with the aim of introducing a slight reduction in the hours of alcohol availability.

Insp Brown added: “Problems around violent crime and anti-social behaviour in the night time economy will not be solved in isolation and we will continue to work with venues and partner agencies to tackle these issues with traditional and innovative approaches.”

 

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