Random drug swab tests have been carried out across the coast
Main article content
More than 500 people were randomly swabbed for controlled substances on Friday evening and checks were carried out at licenced premises as we continue to prevent violence, anti-social behaviour and to tackle drugs along the coast.
The multiagency Operation California saw our officers and other agencies including East Lindsey District Council carry out engagement in clubs and pubs across Skegness, Ingoldmells and Mablethorpe. They used a ‘drugs itemiser’- a machine to detect any residue of drugs on people and surfaces.
Nineteen people indicated a high reading on the itemiser for cocaine which showed they may have touched the drug. Those individuals were stopped and searched under Section 23 of the misuse of drugs act. No drugs were located and no arrests were made.
Visitors were invited to have their hands swabbed to assess whether the individual had been in contact with drugs and/or to walk through the knife arch metal detector to assess whether anyone was in possession of a weapon. Despite nothing being found, those who were subject to a stop and search were not allowed into the venue as agreed with the complex’s management.
Similar operations are to take place throughout the summer.
PC Billy Spence said: “During the early evening several premises between Skegness and Ingoldmells were visited – our licencing team used the itemiser device, and the premises were swabbed for controlled substances. A couple of premises will be revisited in the near future as they were found to have high levels on some surfaces.
“We visited several premises including Busters Bar in which around 500 people were hand swabbed on the itemiser by our licencing colleagues.
“Although nothing was located on visitors during this operation, it sends a clear message that drugs will not be tolerated. We will continue to take action with more planned operations during the coming months to ensure people feel safe.”
Chief Inspector Lee St Quinton added: “This operation has had great support in previous years from licensed premises and the public. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support.
“Operation California is a multi-agency preventative operation designed to ensure that the Coast area is a safe place to live, work and visit.
“We have a particular focus on making the Coast area inhospitable for drug dealers and users but we also target a full spectrum of offences, such as violent crime and ASB as well as offences against women and girls. To do this we deploy officers in both uniform and plain clothes.
“By working with our partners, we can ensure that people who need treatment for substance misuse issues can be directed towards the appropriate services”
“We work with our partners to ensure that everyone can enjoy our coastal resorts without being caught up in or witnessing criminal offences. Lincolnshire is a very safe county and we want to keep it that way.”
To report any concerns or a crime, call 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.