A boss claims a group of travellers caused chaos in his restaurant while police just stood by and allowed carnage to unfold.
Nashim Uddin claims the group caused chaos in his popular Indian restaurant Masala Twist in Cromer, Norfolk, where they argued with the owners and stole drinks.
The incident happened as locals claim the seaside resort was put into lockdown over the weekend and shops, pubs and other food outlets shut early.
Nashim Uddin claims the group caused chaos in his popular Indian restaurant Masala Twist in Cromer, Norfolk, where they argued with the owners and stole drinks. Mr Uddin is pictured with his wife Ayrun
Residents allege that trouble erupted after 50 travellers in a convoy of about 20 vehicles illegally rolled on to Runton Road car park in the town on Friday afternoon.
The Masala Twist was one of the few places still open in Cromer on Saturday night.
Mr Uddin said about 40 travellers stormed in to join their noisy pals already in his busy restaurant.
The businessman tried to get the gang to leave after they ‘frightened and intimidated’ other guests.
Mr Uddin says he began pushing the thugs out backed up by his nephew Jamil Ahmed and wife Ayrun Nessa-Uddin.
Travellers’ motorhomes and caravans are pictured in Runton Road car park in Cromer
But he accused police, who also had a dog, of standing back and watching as the astonishing drama unfolded just feet away.
‘Police could have done a lot more,’ Mr Uddin told the Eastern Daily Press. ‘It is just not good enough.’
He said his scared wife had her arm slammed in the door during the dramatic bust-up.
Her arm is bruised and swollen and she’s been unable to sleep properly since she was attacked by the pack.
One of Mr Uddin’s waiters, Jamil Ahmed, said: ‘There were three police cars parked outside at a nearby car park. I ran over to the police cars and asked them to come over and help.
‘When they came over, about five or six of them, they came into the restaurant and asked me to point out who ordered the drink initially.
Incident at Masala Twist unfolded after locals claimed the seaside resort was in lockdown
‘I walked through a lot of them pointing out who, only to turn around and find that they are stood in a corner and they didn’t have my back.’
He added: ‘Later on the police did get £15 from them and handed to my aunt but that wasn’t enough to cover what had been stolen.
‘You can’t blame the police, though, I guess – they were heavily outnumbered.’
Deputy Chief Constable Nick Dean visited the restaurant yesterday on a fact-finding mission as fury grew in the iconic Victorian seaside resort.
Mr Dean said: ‘In general the owner is very supportive of police. We just need to review how we dealt with that incident.’
Police said ‘a large proportion’ of incidents over the weekend were related to travellers but it would be wrong to say they all were
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb also visited the restaurant.
The Liberal Democrat MP has now written to Chief Constable Simon Bailey demanding urgent answers about the police response as he met Mr Dean.
From Friday afternoon through to Sunday, police recorded 37 incidents in Cromer
But yesterday Mr Dean said: ‘An influx of the travelling community in Cromer led to an increase in low level disorder and thefts and the events that we know about.’
He said ‘a large proportion’ of incidents were related to travellers but it would be wrong to say they all were.
‘What I want to be really careful of is not labelling the whole of the travelling community in terms of this disorder,’ said Mr Dean.