Agencies team up for night-time economy drug testing

PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 June 2015

Archant

POLICE joined forces with other agencies to hold a night of action in Weston town centre, where three people were found to be in possession of drugs.

Operation Joined Up was held by Avon and Somerset Constabulary in conjunction with Trading Standards, North Somerset Council’s licensing team, South Western Ambulance Service, door staff regulators and Weston representatives of drug treatment charity Addaction.

Weston police officers took a new drug itemiser into the town centre, which detects the presence of drug traces on people’s hands and on hard surfaces.

Police swabbed 130 people’s hands to test for drugs before they were allowed entry into pubs or clubs.

Anyone who tested positive was then searched and three people were found to have drugs on them. They will be interviewed by police at a later date.

Weston Inspector Sharon Bennett said: “Operation Joined Up is an 
initiative we run regularly with 
North Somerset licensing and other agencies which we have shared objectives with in the town centre, to make it a safer place for everybody and more enjoyable.

“We were getting the message across that we will not tolerate drugs in Weston.

“When we work together, it shows the licensees we share information and work together and do joint enforcement as well.

“One place had issues with cocaine on the toilet and had issues with door staff and with one visit, representatives from the various agencies all dealt with it together.

“It encourages licensees to behave more responsibly.”

Insp Bennett said it was a positive night and said: “We had good comments from people saying how nice to was to see us out.

“The ambulance service said from their point of view, it was a lot quieter. There was not one report of a fight all night.”

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