Drugs Crackdown In New Forest

Sniffer dogs are being used to crack down on people taking drugs in the New Forest's pubs.

Police say they are going to be carrying out random spot checks, after seeing a rise in the number of times traces of drugs have been found.

They will have the power to search suspects and swab people's hands if they think they have been handling drugs.

"We're hoping that the police operations in pubs will be a real deterrent to those who think they can use drugs in public places. We also hope it will make those who haven't tried drugs, but may be tempted, to think again," said Sergeant Amanda Barry, from the Safer Streets team.

"Drug use in forest pubs is a real concern - our investigations have proved that suppliers and users are prevalent. We want to halt this damaging behaviour in the community and so, by visiting pubs and working with the licensing trade, we will combine education and enforcement to deal directly with those involved."

Anybody caught using or supplying drugs could face up to seven years in jail.

For help with a drugs problem, contact The Bridge Project, the New Forest drug and alcohol helpline, on 01425 620780; the National Drug Helpline on 0800 776600 or Cocaine Anonymous UK on 0800 612025.

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