Police screen for drugs in Town Centre

Drug screening

Police in Eastleigh  conducted an operation targeting drug users in the Town Centre last Friday night.

A team of eight officers, both uniformed and plain clothed, carried out drug screening and searched people at two venues in the town.

Officers from the Safer Streets, Targeted Patrol Team and a Safer Neighbourhoods teams, took part in the operation, which ran between 9pm – 1am.

There were 32 positive drug indications including 16 for Heroin, 15 for Cocaine and 1 for Cannabis.

Ps Phil Callard from the Safer Streets team explained:

“We use a small piece of material wiped across a person’s hand and then use a ‘Ion Track’ machine to detect traces of illegal substances that the material picks up. The machine is very accurate & sensitive and is similar to that used in airport security checks”

“By carrying out this sort of high-visibility operation we are hopefully sending a message that drug use in Eastleigh won’t be tolerated.”

“Throughout the operation we also used plain-clothed officers to look out for people avoiding the screening operation, and used our search powers under the Misuse of Drugs Act.”

Sergeant Chris Spellerberg from the Safer Neighbourhoods team for Eastleigh Central area said:

“Premises which are members of the Pubwatch scheme are keen to work with us on these operations and this tells me that they will not stand for their customers abusing their premises in this way. We know there is a link between drug use, alcohol and violent crime. My team are working hard along with other groups outside of the police, such a Pubwatch, Street Pastors and the Community Safety Partnership, to ensure Eastleigh is a safe place to both shop during the day and also enjoy late night entertainment”

“Practical working with licensed premises to tackle issues such as drug & alcohol misuse is a big step in the right direction. We are very keen to assist them in stamping out drug-taking & violence in their venues.”

“We urge licensed establishments to continue to support us by submitting information about drug use, direct to us or anonymously via the Hampshire Crime Stoppers Charity and not allowing it to happen in their premises. In turn, we will continue to combat this issue with them and ensure their premises remain safe environments for everyone.”

Follow Hampshire Crimestoppers on twitter @HanstsCrimestopp or call free & anonymously 0800 555111

Contact Eastleigh Police on 101 and follow us on twitter @EastleighPolice

Contact your local Safer Neighbourhood team by email: eastleigh.snt.western@hampshire.pnn.police.uk

Sarge

I'm the Saferneighbourhood (beat) Sergeant for Eastleigh Central, a busy area covering Allbrook, Boyatt Wood, Newtown, Eastleigh Town Centre & adjoining residential areas, Fleming Park, Aviary Estate, to Stoneham. I lead a team of committed PCSO's & PC's. Our job is to look after vulnerable people and lock up villains. Stop crime happening and whilst doing all this we try to give residents & business the best service possible. We do make a difference but don't get it right all the time. Tell me & my team your neighbourhood concerns. Call, email, stop us on patrol or pop into the station. 

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  4 comments for “Police screen for drugs in Town Centre

  1. December 12, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Good news for Eastleigh that our police are proactive in the war against drugs. All to often we see or read negative reports about the police. Its refreshing to read good news in these troubled times.

  2. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    December 12, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I was surprised at the results; 16 people carrying traces of Heroin and only one of cannabis; I would have expected this to be the other way round.
    Weed has been floating around Eastleigh for a long time – I knew a guy in Newtown who was growing the stuff in his back garden for his own- not inconsiderable – use ( (long since moved away).
    Slightly worrying to think that the new policy of pushing the ‘Night time economy’ might be sucking hard drugs into the area.
    I think it’s right to try and keep on top of it to to encourage people who like to dabble with the hard stuff to stay away.

  3. Brian Norgate
    December 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    After several requests from the Town center mamangement Eastleigh lib dems through Keith House and Cathy Fraser objected to the designated Public Places order in Eastleigh
    town centre.

    So Labour Councillors Peter Luffman and i
    brought in the DPPO through ELAC which 4 lib dems supported and it became permanant after
    the trial scheme.

    Both the Police and then town centre manager
    praised us for this action as its so important
    to keep crime away from our town centres.

    as we have always said the Lib dems are soft on crime, perhaps that explains whats happened to Chris Huhnes speeding case and the Sunlight
    Centres complaints over the election spend which are still both being investigated.

  4. Peter Stewart
    December 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I don’t know what procedure was used during these screenings, but I trust there were reasonable grounds in EVERY case in which a person was stopped and screened for illegal drugs.

    I would like to know:

    1) How many people were screened?
    2) What percentage screened, tested negative?
    3) What percentage tested positive?
    4) Of those tested positive, what percentage were found NOT to be carrying illegal drugs (i.e. were actually innocent)?
    5) Is this test so sensitive that it will detect cross contamination from one hand to another?

    If this was 100% screening of everybody entering certain premises, then we are slipping down a very slippery slope towards a police state if we accept such an idea of mass police screening and the “presumption of guilt”. I find this intrusion of the EU’s Corpus Juris appalling and so should anyone who values democracy. The only time I would ever consider it reasonable to use screening would be if there are reasonable grounds for believing a person is actually carrying illegal drugs. I reiterate REASONABLE GROUNDS! It is these little words which separate us from a police state where the police, instead of being the servants of the public, become our masters.

    While such public screening may deter the drug dealers or users, at what price to liberty does this come? Are we willing to allow ourselves to be treated as criminals to achieve a particular end? And why should someone who is unwilling to be screened, then be assumed to be guilty and tested under a different Act? This is abuse of the law in my opinion, just as it has been an abuse of the law the way in which innocent people have been stopped under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

    I have great respect for the police because in this rotten society we need people to do our dirty work. But not at any price. REASONABLE GROUNDS ALWAYS otherwise the police will lose the respect of the public!

    No doubt this comment will go down like an imperial TON of bricks.

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