Campaign to close cashpoint overnight

Dominic Bareham GUESTHOUSE owners have launched a campaign to get a bank cashpoint machine closed overnight because they say it has become a hotspot for anti-social behaviour.

Dominic Bareham

GUESTHOUSE owners have launched a campaign to get a bank cashpoint machine closed overnight because they say it has become a hotspot for anti-social behaviour.

A number of businesses in Trafalgar Road, Great Yarmouth, claim their vital tourist trade is being affected because guests are being kept awake by rowdy and noisy groups of revellers gathering beside the Barclays Bank cash machine.

Pauline Davis, 53, of The Warren guesthouse, said the problem was particularly bad at around 2am on Friday and Saturday mornings when groups of up to 20 people would make lots of noise while queuing to use the machine after leaving seafront pubs and clubs.

The Warren is next door

to the cashpoint, and she added: “It has been absolutely dreadful this season. The cash machine is in a residential area near the guesthouses. The noise you get from

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groups of people congregating outside there all through the night on Friday and Saturday and over the bank holiday is awful.

“They urinate against my wall and throw bottles and rubbish in my garden. I would say 99pc of the time it is people waiting to use the

cash machine who are responsible.”

Alan Haley, 55, who runs The Courtyard guesthouse, has experienced similar problems, and one of his regular customers, a doctor from Essex, had refused to come back. He stayed at The Courtyard while working at Northgate Hospital, but was woken one night last year by noise from revellers from near the cash machine.

When he leaned out of the window to ask the crowd to keep the noise down he was sworn at.

Mr Haley said: “We are asking Barclays for a little bit of co-operation for the residents of this area and to see our point of view. I am actually losing business because of the noise outside

at night, especially from people parking out there.”

The guesthouse owners want the cash machine to be closed between 11pm and 6am each night to prevent groups gathering, and Mr Haley believes the bank could meet their demands as some other cashpoints around the country also close at night.

The concerns were raised at a Key Individual Network (KIN) meeting between the guesthouse owners and police from the South Yarmouth Safer Neighbourhood Team

at the Carlton Hotel in Yarmouth last week. Officers agreed to make the situation a priority over the next three months.

Irene East, a spokesman for Barclays, said the machine could not be closed overnight because customers may need to draw money out in an emergency but the bank would be contacting police and residents to discuss the matter to see if a way forward can be found.