Traces of cocaine found on one in six people in town’s pub

PUBLISHED: 16:47 06 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:56 06 December 2019

A drug swab was carried out in a Downham Market pub. Picture: King's Lynn Police

A drug swab was carried out in a Downham Market pub. Picture: King's Lynn Police


Traces of cocaine were found on one in six people during a police drug swab operation at a pub in a Norfolk town.

Police were out in Downham Market on Saturday, November 30 to issue a message of zero-tolerance for drug use and to deter the use of illegal substances.

The operation saw 122 swab tests carried out on people and found traces of cocaine in 22 of the cases.

A police spokesman said: "This was a proactive operation for the Rural Local Policing Team in Downham Market working in conjunction with The Whalebone (Wetherspoons) in Downham Market.

"We swabbed customers' hands as a condition of entry.

"122 hands were swabbed and 22 detected very small amounts of cocaine.

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"This does not mean that those who had it on their hands had taken drugs, but that they had touched something recently that had drugs on it.

"This could be in a bathroom, on a menu in a restaurant or even money if it had recently come into contact with drugs.

"We will be working with the pub going forward to ensure that there is a zero-tolerance policy for drugs in the town."

Eddie Gershon, Wetherspoon spokesman, said: "The police asked to undertake this operation at our pub in Downham Market.

"This was a police operation and Wetherspoon was not directly involved, aside from the fact that it took place in our pub.

"Wetherspoon has a zero tolerance on drugs and we were more than happy for the police to take swabs.

"The feedback from our customers is that they welcomed this as a positive way to ensure that town centre pubs are drug free."

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