Drugs clampdown at Cheltenham nightclubs

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Drugs clampdown at Cheltenham nightclubs

Police will start a six-week campaign this weekend (17 February) targeting those who take illegal drugs to Cheltenham Town Centre nightclubs.

A number of officers will be at various clubs in the town using the "Itemiser" drug-testing machine owned by the Cheltenham Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership. This machine will swab the hands of people entering the clubs, the swab will indicate if the person has been in contact with any illegal substances. If the test is positive then other police officers will search the person and if drugs are found they will be arrested and dealt with as appropriate.

Acting Inspector Calvin Owen has a strong message for anyone intending on drug taking in the town, he said; "If you are planning a night out in Cheltenham using or selling drugs then don't bother. We will be testing you and if you are in possession of any illegal substances you will be arrested and brought to justice.

"We want people to be able to go out and enjoy the excellent selection of pubs and clubs in Cheltenham Town Centre without the use of illegal drugs. It will not be tolerated and we will be pushing for the strongest penalties for anyone caught with the intention of taking or dealing drugs."

The operation, codenamed Wizard, is a Cheltenham Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership initiative with Home Office funding. Secretary to the Partnership Trevor Gladding said; "Although this particular operation is about enforcement the use of this equipment is to ensure that a positive message is sent out to residents and visitors alike that such venues are safe places to visit without having to confront issues relating to illegal drug misuse."

A/Insp Calvin Owen added; "The operation also has the full support of Nightsafe. This is group made up of representatives from most of the licensed premises in the town."

Posted : 15/02/2006 16:10:45

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