Cromer in 'lockdown': Extra police patrol seaside town amid 'low-level disorder'

Cromer Pier said it had closed its Theatre Bar
Cromer Pier said it had closed its Theatre Bar

Extra police are patrolling an English seaside resort following reports of "low-level disorder" which led some pubs, hotels and other businesses to close their doors.

With residents describing Cromer in Norfolk as in "lockdown" on social media, venues said they had taken protective action.

"We never ever had this problem before," resident Lynette Hollis told Sky News.

"The lockdown of Cromer, right down to Sheringham... It just never happened."

Local people have blamed the travelling community.

Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk, told Sky News that what happened had been "distressing for people".

"The economic impact will be significant," Mr Lamb added.

"A lot of businesses, bars, pubs decided to close, yesterday and today.

"This is absolute prime time for them, and on a sunny Sunday they're expecting bumper trade, and to lose that is very damaging.

"I've heard of shops who have young people serving in there - they're worried about their safety. This is just not acceptable."

Norfolk Police said officers had been called on Friday "to five incidents of theft, three from shops and two from local pubs where drinks were taken and not paid for".

Officers were called to Cromer Social Club at about 11.30pm, following reports that a large group of people who had turned up were refusing to leave.

Then during the day on Saturday, there were reports of shoplifting and "low-level anti-social behaviour in the Cromer area".

The force said officers were called to a pub at about 5pm after a large group of people refused to leave.

Other pubs in the area decided to close at around 7pm, officers were told.

There were also incidents at a restaurant and at a caravan park's private bar.

In an earlier update, the force said it was "aware of mentions on social media relating to a stabbing in the town tonight - we can confirm no such incident has been reported to us".

Cromer Pier said it had closed its Theatre Bar on the advice of police.

A statement on the venue's Facebook page said: "On advice from the police the Theatre Bar is closed to the public this evening as are all the other public houses in Cromer.

"Apologies for any inconvenience whilst we support our local police in bringing a difficult situation in the town under control."

The Wellington pub tweeted: "We will not be opening our doors tomorrow! Hopefully normal service will resume on Monday!"

The Red Lion Hotel wrote on Twitter: "Please be aware the Red Lion is closing early this evening due to local events in the past 24 hours."