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'Warning posters are dragging town down'

PUBLISHED: 09:31 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:21 03 July 2010

Welcome to Yarmouth. Please do not urinate on our streets or fight and swear in public.

That is not a typical greeting to the resort that trippers would expect as they step off coaches.

Welcome to Yarmouth. Please do not urinate on our streets or fight and swear in public.

That is not a typical greeting to the resort that trippers would expect as they step off coaches.

But the series of hard hitting police posters declaring war on yobbish behaviour during the holiday season has not gone down well after it was criticised by a leading business woman and featured in a Sunday newspaper.

Christine Jay, owner of Yarmouth's Hippodrome, claims the posters dotted across the whole of the town give out the wrong message that the resort is plagued with loutish behaviour at night times.

And now Mrs Jay's fears appear to have been realised after a Sunday Times travel feature at the weekend highlighted the posters.

The article about top tourist destinations from Southend to Cleethorpes, said: “Welcome to Great Yarmouth, says a police notice. “We expect you not to use the street as a toilet.”

It added Yarmouth was unashamedly working class and 'hard to love at night', as 'booze Britain invades the Golden Mile'.

Mrs Jay said: “I am furious about these posters. They just send out totally the wrong message about what Yarmouth is about. “Yarmouth is on the up and these posters just drag it down in my opinion.”

She added that Yarmouth does not often appear in Sunday quality papers and now it finally had - but for negative reasons.

Police put up the distinctive posters last month in a bid to make Yarmouth more attractive by clamping down on some visitors' under age drinking and antisocial behaviour

The posters which have been put up at pubs, amusements arcades, hotels and the town's train station, also draw attention to high visibility police patrols, CCTV and trained door staff.

A Norfolk police spokesman said: “The police's role, as shown in the posters, is to make sure that a certain level of behaviour is maintained.

“The aim of these posters is to warn the minority of trouble makers that they should not expect to be able to come to Yarmouth for a night out and engage in criminal or antisocial behaviour without being dealt with.

“People want an environment that is safe to live and work in and early indications show the posters are having an impact.”

The Sunday Times article extended its criticism to Lowestoft, which said it should be a world class resort, but was not. Southwold was also described as being a place that was 'surprisingly cagey about letting you stay the night'.

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