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Drug dealing, ‘extreme’ computer misuse and urinating on carpets among bad behaviour in Norfolk libraries which led to nearly 90 bans

PUBLISHED: 16:02 01 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:09 02 January 2018

The Forum, which houses the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library. Photo: Bill Smith

The Forum, which houses the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library. Photo: Bill Smith

Eastern Daily Press © 2002

People have been banned from Norfolk’s libraries nearly 90 times over the past two years, including for selling drugs, shouting at children, urinating on carpets, fighting, abusing staff and looking at indecent images on computers.

The Town Hall assembly room, refurbished in recent years, where the 1882 celebratory meal was served.The Town Hall assembly room, refurbished in recent years, where the 1882 celebratory meal was served.

Bans imposed range from people not being allowed to visit libraries for a single day for being drunk to being banned from all Norfolk’s libraries indefinitely for misuse of computers.

And library staff have also been forced to call police to tackle incidents of aggressive behaviour and drunk people trying to go to sleep in libraries.

The catalogue of shame was revealed through Freedom of Information Requests, which showed that there had been 16 occasions when people were banned in 2017, compared to 38 in 2016 and 34 in 2015.

In 2016, the police were called in after a person was found to be selling drugs and legal highs in one of the county’s libraries. They were banned for a year.

In the same year, a person was banned for “extreme misuse” of a computer. Their ban is ongoing.

And between 2014 and 2017, a dozen people have also been banned from Norfolk County Council’s recycling centres.

That includes a case in 2016 where a person threatened staff at Norwich’s Mile Cross tip with a weapon.

And, in June this year, a person who stole from the recycling shop at the Caister recycling centre was banned.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: “In a small number of cases we have banned people from our libraries or recycling centres because their behaviour puts others at risk, is illegal or could be intimidating to other visitors or staff.

“This is always a last resort and is only when behaviour is persistent or so serious that we feel there is no other option.”

Elsewhere, Great Yarmouth Borough Council banned two people from its offices for three years after a door was kicked in and windows were smashed.

Norwich City Council has banned 15 people in the past three years, including for abusive and racist language.

Five people have been banned by Suffolk County Council since 2015.

That includes one who physically attacked staff and another “due to concerns an individual was exploiting vulnerable young people”.

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