Newport bars can lock up drugs in new scheme
8:01am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
Inspector Mark Pope, pub and club watch chairman Enzo Nigro, Queens Hotel manager Matt Gough, pub and club watch secretary John Pisani and Inspector Stefan Williams with one of the drug safes
POLICE are distributing safes to pubs and clubs in Newport city centre so workers can securely dispose of drugs until they can be collected.
Gwent Police have worked in conjunction with Newport Pub Watch to introduce the 11 new safes.
They cost £185 each and all will be installed by this weekend. Four others are being kept in reserve.
Drugs will be collected by police on a weekly basis and sent to WEDINOS (Welsh Emerging Drugs and Identification of Novel Substances Project), where all illegal substances seized by police are sent for further analysis and safe disposal across Wales.
All of Newport’s Designated Premises Supervisors and SIA (Security Industry Authority) staff have been given refresher training by the police in search techniques and how to identify different kinds of drugs.
Any drugs that are found on people at pubs and bars will be taken by workers, sealed in a tamper-proof plastic bag and posted through a slit in the safe.
If visitors are suspected of drug dealing, or if they have large quantities of drugs on them, police will be called immediately. Bars and pubs continue to have the authority to bar anyone from their premises.
Also, staff at the pubs and bars retain the authority to perform random searches for drugs. Anyone who refuses to be searched will be denied entry.
Newport Partnership Inspector Stefan Williams said: “The seized drugs will allow us to monitor which drugs are being used locally, and will allow us to further target our policing activity.
“Individuals will be able to volunteer any small amounts of drugs for personal use as an amnesty.”
The pubs involved in the scheme are: The Bassment, Breeze, The Birdcage, Delilah’s, The Greyhound, KMA, La Bamba, Meze Lounge, The Queen’s Hotel, Revolution and Warehouse 54.
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