Showing drug users the door

Date: Monday 15th April 2019

PUBLICANS at Appleby have joined forces with police and Eden Council to clamp down on what is described as a growing problem of drug use at pubs in the town.

An Appleby pub watch scheme is being set up, mirroring those already in place in Penrith and Carlisle. The move comes against a wider backdrop of police concern over “county lines” drugs operations — in which illegal drugs are being brought into Cumbria by out-of-county criminal gangs.

The new Appleby scheme follows an “intelligence-led” operation in March, in which four pubs were visited by officers and a police dog, and traces of cocaine were discovered in the toilets of one establishment. It is hoped that in future all of Eden’s towns will have pub watch schemes — in order to avoid the problem simply being passed along to other communities.

All the pubs that sign up will have powers to issue written warnings to customers who flout the rules, and people can be banned from all the pubs in the scheme for at least a year. This kind of co-operation between publicans, licensing authorities and the police force is to be applauded.

One Appleby landlord spoke about a “united front” being needed in order to maintain a safe drinking environment for the town and its visitors.

Responsible licensees desire nothing more than a safe and trouble-free environment where they can run their business in peace while providing a venue for customers to relax and socialise.

In joining the pub watch scheme, the Appleby landlords have signalled their determination to show users of illegal drugs the door — and we can all say cheers to that.