Sniffer dogs visit Exeter pubs in drug crackdown

STUDENT pubs have been visited by sniffer dogs in a police crackdown on drugs.

Popular student venues, including Exeter University’s Lemon Grove and Ram Bar, were targeted by Exeter police as part of their Pubs Against Drugs initiative.

Various quantities of drugs were recovered in the operation over the weekend.

And police have issued a warning to students at the start of a new university year that they will not tolerate drugs in the city.

Revellers attending the Grooverider gig on Friday at the Lemon Grove, on the university’s Streatham campus, discarded drugs as officers descended on the venue.

And two people were arrested after the police sniffer dog detected drugs on them.

Sergeant Dan Hall, of Exeter’s Partners and Communities Together (PACT), said: “We have raised our concerns to the premises’ manager following the seizures at the venues on the university campus that they are being used for drug taking.

“The police licensing team will be following up these concerns with the management.

“The message to students at the beginning of a new university year and term is that drugs will not be tolerated.

“We will conduct regular patrols on both student pubs and city pubs to combat drug use.

“We are working closely with the Student Guild on this and they are very supportive of what we are doing.”

Around 20 people were searched by police at the Lemon Grove. Four fake £20 notes were found discarded within the venue.

Two people were arrested for possession of a white power believed to be cocaine and were bailed to attend Heavitree Road Police Station, in Exeter, while two people were issued warnings for possession of cannabis. Exeter Commander John Vellacott said: “We have visited the student bars to set the tone for the university year and instil the message that it is not acceptable to use and take drugs.

“If we get in early at the start of a new university year, students know that we mean business.”

Drugs were also recovered at the Queen Victoria, in Tudor Street, the Devon Yeoman, in Beacon Lane, and the Stoke Arms, in Stoke Hill. Other city bars visited by the team of officers included the Angel, in Queen Street, Vaults bar, John Gandy’s and the Chevalier.

Most pubs have welcomed the initiative. Manager of the Angel Emma Sewell said: “This is the first visit we have had from the police as part of this campaign and I think it’s a good idea.”

Police will carry out more Pubs Against Drugs operations in the coming months.

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