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War On Drugs On Pubs ::

Reported by Tristan Ingram on December 14, 2007

Thames Valley police randomly drug tested over 400 drinkers visiting four pubs in Reading with a ioniser machine last weekend, discovering minute traces of drugs on 36 individuals.


The Reading Evening Post said cocaine was most revellers’ drug of choice though none were found to be in possession of any illicit substances.


“Clearly people are taking drugs before going on a night out and leaving their drugs at home,” commanding officeer Sergeant Darren Brown told the Post, “We noticed a steep rise in the numbers that tested positive for illegal drugs as the evening wore on.”


People whose hands tested positive when swabbed by the machine or refused to take the test, were refused entry to the pubs, the Post added.


Meanwhile in the North of England, police dog Dibley was named the best sniffer dog in the UK this week, after catching 122 drug criminals last year, mainly in pubs and clubs. The Northern Echo said the Labrador is now being used in clubs in Northumbria, Cleveland, North Yorkshire, and North Wales, as well as at businesses and schools.


"When he is working he is simply on fire,” his handler PC Dawson told the Echo, “He is food rewarded and won't move until he gets a reward - or a pat on the head. I have come across lots of scanning dogs, but Dibley is the best I have ever seen. He just wants to work.”


Meanwhile in Australia civil liberties campaigners blamed cops for causing 14 overdoses amongst revelers at licensed rave Ultraworld in Australia which was policed by 70 cops, many with sniffer dogs.


"Confronted with such a police presence, some individuals are tempted to unwisely consume all their drugs in one go, rather than throw them away or risk arrest," said Damon Brogan from drugs education organisation Vivaids.


"If police operations are increasing the risk of death and harm in the community, perhaps it is time to rethink,” he told the Herald Sun.


The minimal deterrence value of busting drug users was also emphasized in a report on Singapore’s burgeoning drug scene, where revellers face execution for relatively small amounts, in Chinese newspaper the Shanghai Daily.


“Singapore's party drug scene used to be the domain of high-flying foreign bankers and other expatriates who would take ecstasy and snort cocaine in defiance of the city state's punitive drug laws,” said China’s Shanghai Daily.


“But these days the drug scene for foreigners is not as pronounced as among well-to-do locals . . . Anecdotal evidence tells of the emergence of an underground party drug scene mostly at night clubs frequented by the wealthy,” the paper added.


Jonty Skrufff (