A MAJOR crackdown on drugs in pubs and clubs has been launched by police chiefs in South Derbyshire.
Derbyshire Police revealed that specialist officers from the force’s licensing team were working in conjunction with the Pubwatch scheme in the area and staff at licensed premises to tackle the issue of drug misuse.
Officers are in the process of visiting popular nightlife spots across the area, highlighting problems with drugs and urging staff and members of the public to report anyone they see dealing or taking illegal substances.
Sergeant Mark Lomas, from the force licensing team, spoke to the Mail about why officers had decided to act.
He said: “At the beginning of the year work was undertaken that highlighted that the use of drugs in the night-time economy had risen from that of previous years.
“As a result of this the licensing team joined up with the management of licensed premises in the areas to enforce a ‘no tolerance’ approach to drugs.
“If you are caught taking or dealing drugs you could be faced with a police caution, fine or even a prison sentence.”
As well as taking to staff and customers, officers are putting up posters inside and outside venues warning about the dangers of drugs.
The posters urge people to call Crimestoppers with information on drug misuse, and emphasises that any calls made are anonymous.
Anyone with information on drug misuse can call police using the non-emergency number 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
A spokesman for Crimestoppers said: “We are not the police, we do not trace or record calls.
“If people talk to us they will not appear in court – we want people to tell us what they know, not who they are.”
Pubwatch schemes are established by licensees and membership is restricted to licensed premises.
They link in with the police, council and community safety partnerships and work together to help reduce crime and antisocial behaviour.
A spokesman for Derbyshire Pubwatch said: “We are keen to support Derbyshire Police in reducing drug-related crime in our night-time economy.”