Police crack down on Ilfracombe drugs scene

Plymouth specialist dog handler Martin LeBlanc with one of the two dogs used on the patrol

Plymouth specialist dog handler Martin LeBlanc with one of the two dogs used on the patrol - Credit: Archant

Ten premises searched in passive drugs patrol

Local licensees have responded positively to a police drugs patrol in Ilfracombe on Friday night.

Nine people were searched and two seizures were made as local officers and specialists mounted a passive drugs patrol in the town between 9pm and midnight.

One male was warned for possession of cannabis and another male arrested and bailed to Barnstaple Police Station for possession of a Class A drug.

The team of 15 police officers, including those from the North Devon Proactive Team and others from as far afield as Bodmin and Plymouth, together with two drugs dogs, visited 10 pubs and clubs.

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The licensees at the majority of the pubs visited reacted positively to the operation, including DJ’s Sports Bar landlord Karen Meadmarkin.

“I think it’s important,” she said. “It goes to show people in the town that there is more of a deterrent and they are cracking down on it.

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“I think people think they can get away with it in smaller places but it is good to see and let’s hope they keep it up.”

Brett Houlford, landlord at the St George on High Street, was also happy to have the Police conduct their search.

“I’m all for it,” he said. “You know it goes on and try to stop it the best you can, so I’ve got no problems with the Police doing this.”

Ilfracombe sector inspector Roger Bartlett said: “This operation shows our commitment to do all we can to eradicate illegal drugs in the pubs and clubs of Ilfracombe.

“We are working closely with licensees, street pastors and others to ensure the night time economy area is safe and vibrant.

“This was a really successful operation and it won’t be the last so those that continue to bring drugs into the town centre should be under no illusion that they are not safe from prosecution.”

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