Police presence stepped up at McDonald’s restaurant to tackle anti-social behaviour

McDonald's restaurant, Gillingham near Beccles.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

McDonald's restaurant, Gillingham near Beccles.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A fast-food restaurant plagued by anti-social behaviour has seen an increased police presence in order to tackle the issue.

Residents living near the Gillingham McDonald’s, off the A143, have suffered months of loud exhausts, revving engines, racing cars and loud music at all hours of the night.

The constant stream of complaints led to Norfolk Police stepping up its monitoring of the 24-hour restaurant – with a mixture of uniformed, plain-clothed and traffic officers visiting the area.

Signs have also been placed around the McDonald’s warning the anti-social use of vehicles could lead to “fines, endorsements to driving licenses and potentially the seizure of your vehicle”.

Rae Massingham, chairman of Gillingham Parish Council, said: “It’s been an issue for several months.

“Those living opposite in Church Road were complaining about the noise and loud music.

“Because it’s open 24-hours you have young people screaming round at two in the morning.”

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A representative from McDonald’s attended a recent council meeting and promised to do more to tackle the issue, along with other problems such as littering.

And recent weeks have seen a decline in the amount of anti-social behaviour taking place.

Mr Massingham added: “McDonald’s have a responsibility to the community in general to keep the noise down as they are open 24-hours-a-day.

“I’m happy for the people who live opposite - the last time I spoke with them they said there had been less noise.

“But I don’t think they will ever do anything about the litter.

“We do a litter pick twice a year and 90pc of what we collect is from McDonald’s.

“They have a man collecting litter within half a mile of the restaurant – I think they should be going at least a mile.”

A McDonald’s spokesman told of the ongoing work it was undertaking to stamp out the issues.

They said: “We are aware of ongoing antisocial behaviour issues which are impacting the surrounding area; not just this restaurant.

“We are committed to being a good neighbour and ensuring our restaurants are welcoming environments for our people and customers, and have a number of initiatives in place to help combat any issues – including increasing store litter picking, as well as working closely with local authorities and community groups.”