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Christmas clampdown on drug taking

Police car
Police car

By Hayley Robinson

Hi-tech equipment which can detect traces of drugs was used to test customers at two Sittingbourne pubs at the weekend.

Police officers did a sweep using the ion track machine as well as passive drug dogs when they visited the Bull and the Red Lion pubs based in the High Street last Saturday as part of a clampdown on drug use in the run up to Christmas.

Customers at pubs and clubs in Maidstone were also tested earlier in the night.

Sgt Ian Jones, who was out on the operation, said: "We are determined to clamp down on illegal drug taking and to support licensees to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time over the festive period.

"The portable ion track device is an invaluable tool in helping us to detect whether people have been using drugs and works by taking a swab sample from an individual’s hand, which is then placed in the machine and indicates what illegal substances, if any, may have been taken and an indication of the quantity.

"We swabbed over 60 people using the ion track machine on Saturday and in a couple of cases further action was taken with individuals who were found to be using cocaine being evicted and banned for life from the pub they were in.

"I would urge those going out over the Christmas season to do so safely and in the knowledge that we will be carrying out further checks without warning."

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