Anyone found in possession of drugs in a Congleton Pub Watch building risks getting a 12 month ban from all the pubs in the group, whilst anyone suspected of taking illegal drugs will be told to leave.
Members of the Pub Watch group attended a presentation in the Town Hall where PC Helen Hood and PCSO Amy Heath let the publicans see samples of a wide variety of drugs and talked through the likely consequences and behaviours of people taking various drugs.
The pubs also picked up a drug detection pack which contained cocaine wipes and a detection torch. These were sponsored by Congleton Town Council.
Chair of the Congleton Pub Watch group, Mick Luke from The Antelope said: “As a Pub Watch group we all want people to enjoy a night out in Congleton, have a good time and feel safe and protected. We know that there are drugs in all towns, but we want to make it clear that we will not tolerate them in our pubs. All publicans have the right to ban anyone from their individual pubs, but we have agreed as a group that if someone is in possession of illegal drugs they will be banned from all our pubs for 12 months and reported to the authorities.”
The pubs also discussed measures to prevent drinks from being spiked, following recent allegations on social media of spiking in Congleton. Inspector Jim Adams from Congleton Police station said: “It is important that anyone who suspects that they were a victim of having their drink spiked contacts the Police as soon as possible, so an investigation can commence. We would urge everyone to be responsible and safe when out in the town. Know your limits and don’t leave your drink unattended, keep it with you at all times.”
As part of the campaign to make everyone feel safe and protected when on a night out in Congleton, the pubs took leaflets and posters about the Ask for Angela campaign where someone who is feeling intimidated when on a night out can alert the bar staff that they may need some help. They also picked up information that can be displayed on how to report hate crime and how to get help if you are in an abusive relationship.
Mick, Chair of Pub Watch added: “As publicans we want our customers and our staff to have a good time and feel supported and looked after when out in Congleton. It’s important that we are kept up to date on the most recent drugs as well the support that is out there so that we can protect our customers and our businesses. It’s good that we are sticking together with a tough stance on drugs and its only those who are acting illegally that have anything to worry about!”