Police praised by Cromer pub manager one year after traveller lockdown

Nick Copeman, manager of The Wellington in Cromer, in the pub courtyard. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

Nick Copeman, manager of The Wellington in Cromer, in the pub courtyard. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant

A pub manager who was almost pulled over his own bar during the Cromer lockdown has praised police for their handling of the first anniversary of the weekend.

Nick Copeman, manager of The Wellington Pub on Garden Street, last year described how a group of travellers became rowdy when asked to leave the venue.

He said: 'They started grabbing me to pull me over the bar, saying 'we are not leaving until you give us some money'.'

But twelve months on from the 'petrifying' experience, Mr Copeman, 42, said the police had been 'fantastic'.

He said: 'This year, as far as I'm concerned, the police have done a fantastic job.

'We've had the sergeants popping by on a regular basis and I think they've done a really good job of reassuring us.

'They've gone a long way above the call of duty, in my mind, to make sure it won't happen again.

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'They made the effort of coming in just to see how we were doing and keep us updated.'

READ MORE: No repeat of last August's Travellers' lockdown weekend in Cromer

Mr Copeman, who was born and raised in Cromer, added: 'It was business as usual for us.

'As far as The Wellington, goes, I've got full confidence in police.

'I wasn't pleased last year but I believe it was a one off and we can get back to enjoying Cromer like we always have done.

'The police have been coming in on a daily basis. I do have customers commenting but I tell them we've got nothing to worry about.

'We've had a great summer this year - a fantastic carnival and we're looking forward to bank holiday weekend.

'The town is back to how it always has been.'

READ MORE: 'It won't happen again' - police chief pledges no repeat of Cromer lockdown one year on

Mr Copeman, who has been managing The Wellington for three years, said there was a significant police presence in the town on the night of Friday, August 17.

He said: 'Police had number plate readers and they liaised with other agencies and police forces.

'We did see a presence here - probably eight to ten police officers on New Street, with 1,000 people in town for the carnival.'

Norfolk police chief constable Simon Bailey, pledged to restore Cromer's trust in the force ahead of the weekend, and said: 'It won't happen again.'

His comments followed an internal review which addressed last year's police failings.

And he added: 'Additional resources will ensure any sign of trouble is dealt with robustly.'