A crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Lynn’s town centre is helping police tackle other problems elsewhere, a council committee has heard.
But a senior police officer has admitted the loss of youth activities offered at the North Lynn Discovery Centre is hampering efforts to combat the issue.
Police have been called to dozens of incidents around the bus station in recent weeks as part of a continuing drive to combat disorder around the interchange.
During a presentation to West Norfolk Council’s Lynn area consultative committee on Monday, Inspector Wes Hornigold said: “I have to be very keen in terms of where I deploy my staff on what’s having the most impact.
“At the moment, that’s the town centre. That’s having a real knock-on effect on tackling matters elsewhere.
“Whilst people do migrate into the town and we’re dealing with low level shoplfiters and drug users, the real benefits is dealing with wider issues in the estates.”
He said the campaign was particularly valuable in terms of generating intelligence and engaging with vulnerable people who can then be protected from drug dealing gangs.
But he acknowledged there was still a need to find new activities and venues for young people to go to.
He said: “The Discovery Centre was a real loss and it’s never been replaced.
“I’ve sat in a meeting with the council and other stakeholders to see where we can divert these young people to.
“Somewhere for youngsters to go is what we’re really lacking at the moment. We’ve looked at all sorts of options.”
Committee member John Collop said: “Perhaps you should get the agencies working together to create a substitute.”
But the meeting was told that a working group had already been set up to look into the issue.
Insp Hornigold said playing classical music in the bus station had also been considered, along with switching off the interchange’s Wifi connection.
Police believe that, along with the shelter available, is a major attraction for groups of youths who congregate there and are able to get online.
But Insp Horngold said the idea had not been pursued, because the connection is also used by the bus operators themselves.