Wipes will combat drugs in Pendle pubs

Noel Buckley (Crown Hotel), Pendle Council Licensing Enforcement Officer Mick Armfield and Maggie Owens (Union) with the new drug wipes and LED lights that are to be used to wipe out the use of cocaine in Pendle's pubs. A191011/1
Noel Buckley (Crown Hotel), Pendle Council Licensing Enforcement Officer Mick Armfield and Maggie Owens (Union) with the new drug wipes and LED lights that are to be used to wipe out the use of cocaine in Pendle's pubs. A191011/1
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DRUGS in Pendle’s pubs and clubs will be wiped out with the help of cloths which detect whether they’ve been used in their premises.

The scheme was rolled out at Colne’s monthly Pubwatch meeting when licensees of all the borough’s venues will be handed the wipes.

Funded by Pendle Community Safety Partnership, the wipes identify traces of cocaine from residue on surfaces which have been in contact with the drug.

If cocaine has been used on any of the tested surfaces, the wipes turn blue.

Mick Armfield, Pendle Council’s Licensing Enforcement Officer, is leading the scheme in Pendle.

He said: “This scheme has the backing of licensees. Pubs and clubs in Pendle want to promote a safe and drug free environment for their customers.

“Often it’s the combination of drugs and alcohol that can lead to problems in the night time economy.

“The wipes are an extremely quick and effective way of identifying drugs use.

“They can also be used in conjunction with UV torches which we loan out to Pubwatch members.”

Once drugs have been identified at a pub or club, staff inform the police and council.

High visibility visits are then made to the premises to deter would be drug users.

Mr Armfield added: “Anyone suspected of taking drugs or dealing in drugs will be reported to the police and runs the risk of being prosecuted and banned from all licensed premises in Pendle.”

PC Mark Walker from Lancashire Constabulary said: “Although there isn’t a drugs problem within licensed premises in Pendle, the wipes will help the licensee or staff to identify any problems at an early stage.

“We’ll continue to work closely with Pendle Council and licensed premises by carrying out high visibility visits to their premises.

“Action will be taken against any individual who may be found to be in possession of any illegal substance.”

Coun. Eileen Ansar, chairman of the council’s Licensing Committee, added: “This further demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that licensed premises throughout the borough remain safe and welcoming.

“We want to continue to improve standards by supporting the licensing objective of preventing crime and disorder.”