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Several UK Pubs and Clubs Pledge Zero-Tolerance Drug Policy
About 100 licensed pubs and clubs in Portsmouth, Hampshire have pledged to ban for life anyone found in possession or suspected of dealing illegal drugs on their property more than once. First-time offenders face a 12-month ban from pubs and clubs who have signed up to the city’s Pubwatch plan.
Every venue in Guildhall Walk, Albert Road, Palmerston Road, Commercial Road, and some licensed premises in Gunwharf Quays are backing the move as part of their “zero tolerance” crackdown on drugs.
All incidents will be reported to police and names and descriptions of anyone who has been banned from a pub or club will be given to Pubwatch members.
Licensed premises that have joined Portsmouth Business Crime Reduction Partnership will also have access to a photograph of the offender.
Janet Hillier, chairwoman of Guildhall Pubwatch, said: “We automatically report all drug finds to the police to give them an option to take further action. Working with Portsmouth Business Crime Reduction Partnership Pubwatch has agreed that anyone who is found in possession of a classified drug will receive an immediate 12-month ban.”
“This is in addition to any police action. If they are caught more than once they will be banned for life,” she continued. “We want people to be able to go out and enjoy themselves in safety. We are working very closely with the police, Portsmouth City Council, and our other partners to make Portsmouth a safer, more enjoyable place to go.
If somebody causes trouble in one venue they will miss the chance to go to all venues.”
Jon Saunders, Pubwatch committee member, who is also the general manager at Tiger Tiger in Gunwharf Quays, said: ‘We don’t tolerate drug taking or drug dealing within our venues. The penalty may seem harsh but they are doing something illegal on licensed premises and we and customers should shouldn’t have to put up with it.”
Inspector Louise Tester, who leads Portsmouth’s violent crime reduction and licensing team, added: “The fact that pub and club managers are getting together and saying they don’t tolerate drugs on their premises—go and have a good time and don’t ruin it with drugs—is a fabulous message to support the work other agencies in the city are doing.”