Licensees and police in Burnley have sought to tackle drugs in the town’s pubs and clubs. Operation Frank will see the police and the local authority carry out checks on licensed premises across the Borough. A trained drugs dog will join officers on patrol and CCTV will be used. Police officers including response, Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Special Constables will visit pubs and clubs across the town and Bluetooth technology will be used to send safety messages to revellers’ mobile phones.
Burnley’s Street Pastors and volunteers from the Rest and Retreat Centre will be on hand to help people who have suffered an injury or need somewhere to sober up. Leaflets about the dangers and consequences of taking drugs will be handed out to revellers and posters will be displayed in pubs and clubs across the Lancashire town.
Licensees and door staff will adopt a zero tolerance policy and anyone suspected of taking drugs will be refused entry. This comes as part of a nationally recognised pub watch scheme – Burnley Against Night time Disorder (BAND) which was set up to tackle alcohol related crime and anti social behaviour.
Anyone arrested and cautioned for an alcohol related crime or possession of drugs will be given an opportunity to attend a workshop run by Inspire substance and issue service. The sessions aim to raise awareness of the dangers associated with drinking excessively and the consequences of taking drugs.
Inspector Andy Cartwright said: “Whilst we don’t have a particular problem in the town centre, we know excessive alcohol consumption and drug misuse is often linked to anti social behaviour and violent crime. We will be using a range of measures to educate people about the consequences of drinking and we will be offering support to break the cycle of offending. We want Burnley town centre to be a safe place for people to come and enjoy a night out.
“We will not tolerate drugs being used and sold in licensed premises and where we have information that this is happening we will take action. We have a duty to protect people from the harm caused by drugs. The message is clear – if you are found with drugs in pubs, you will be targeted.”
Councillor Neil Mottershead, Burnley Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “We want people to enjoy Burnley’s pubs and clubs without the dangers and problems associated with drugs. This campaign, and other work, will help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and make the town centre safer for everyone.”
Licensee of Barcode Gary O’Neil added: “We already adopt a very strict door policy and carry out regular checks to make sure no one is carrying illegal substances. We are fully supportive of this scheme and will continue to work with the police and the general public to make sure everyone enjoys a safe night out in Burnley.”
Anyone with information or concerns about drug dealing in pubs can contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.