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27 April 2012, 06:00
You're going to be seeing extra police on the streets around Norwich this Saturday night.
Police will be teaming up with partner agencies to launch a new initiative to improve safety in the city's busy night life areas.
Officers together with city council staff and volunteers such as the SOS Project and Street Pastors, will work alongside the clubs, pubs and bars to target violent crime and anti-social behaviour for Operation Impact.
Chief Inspector Gavin Tempest will lead Saturday night's operation and explained the idea was to provide a "blanket of safety" for revellers throughout the night. He said: "Additional officers will be on patrol in the city centre throughout Saturday night and into the early hours, working closely with door supervisor teams and other agencies, to ensure people can safelyenjoy what the Norwich night time economy has to offer.
"We will be taking positive action to deal with any incidents in order to prevent minor issues involving drunken and rowdy behaviour from escalating into more serious violence."
During the last three years there has been a steady increase in the number of incidents of serious violence associated to the night time economy. Ch Insp Tempest explained: "The increase in violence has come from longer opening hours for licensed premises, worsening the behaviour of a few individuals.
"I would stress however that while there has been a steady increase over the last three years the days of large street brawls are thankfully rare events. By tightening up on prevention and enforcement we can head off these isolated incidents which can only improve the environment for the vast majority who are enjoying a peaceful and law abiding night."
Operation Impact will see several additions to the normal weekend activity including the involvement of drugs dogs, City Council Civil Parking Enforcement Officers and mobile CCTV. This weekend's action is the first in a series of planned operations due to take place in the night time economy throughout the year to with the aim of reducing violent crime and associated anti-social behaviour.