Swindon Pubwatch welcomes police use of drug dogs

1//5/18: Drugs dogs used in Swindon nightspots

Police and the RAF took search dogs around Swindon bars and clubs in a night-time operation targeting drug use.

A total of 14 people were stopped. Three are currently being investigated for possession of cocaine, one was given a fixed penalty notice and three more were given street warnings.

The RAF’s passive alert drugs dogs Ninja and Sonic were sent into 20 nightspots in Old Town and the centre on Friday night.

PC Paul Bezzant, Swindon town centre community coordinator, said: “In addition to drugs found in people’s possession, several others had evidently anticipated the inevitable and discarded drugs before Ninja and Sonic could sniff them out.”

The dogs found a number of self-seal bags that had been thrown away and are thought to contain cocaine.

“One of the main aims of this operation was to send a clear message that people who come to Swindon to enjoy a night out can do so safely, he said.
“Use of the passive alert drug dogs like Ninja and Sonic greatly enhances our ability to target and deal with those involved in illegal drug use.”
And he warned: “We will be making this a regular tactic to drive drugs from our streets and the night time economy.”

Pubwatch chairman Dave Broome backed the operation. “We welcome this initiative from the police and welcome the drugs’ dogs into our venues,” he said. “We look forward to continually working with the police to make our venues as safe for our customers as they can be.”

The RAF dogs are used as part of a long-standing arrangement between the RAF Police and the Wiltshire Force, particularly through events like the Royal International Air Tattoo.

Flt Lt Matthew Jones, who commands the police and security flight at Brize Norton explained: “Supporting policing operations provides the RAF Police specialist military working dog teams perfect training opportunities and the prospect to develop our interoperability with Wiltshire Police further, while contributing to the safety of both the civilian and military communities.”

Photograph and story courtesy of Swindon Advertiser www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk

NPW Editor: To find out more about what you can do to tackle drugs have a look at our Drugs and Pubs film on our YouTube link