Drug Swab tests for pub entry

By Lunar Loops · May 13, 2006 · ·
  1. Lunar Loops
    This is really kinda scary, first nightclubs in Yeovil doing fingertip scans to gain entry and now this in Sussex. Christ, I have always sorta joked about big brother states with CCTV cameras watching your every move and forces of law and order ready to pounce at every oportunity. The UK is really getting kinda scary now though. Surely, these pilot schemes will not become widespread....will they????

    This appeared today on www.morningadvertiser.co.uk :

    Pub trade’s concern over drugs-swab tests
    12/05/2006 08:13
    Written by: Tony Halstead

    Trade leaders have condemned a controversial drugs-swabbing scheme carried out by police as a condition of entry to pubs in towns across Sussex.
    Drinkers are required to queue for admission to licensed premises and agree to swab samples - which will be checked by officers for traces of illegal substances.
    Plain-clothes officers will be present to detain any person who refuses the test and decides to leave the queue.
    Trade groups say the scheme opens up worrying civil liberty issues and could affect trade at scores of pubs and clubs.
    Swab tests will be conducted at random in selected licensed premises, according to police.
    Morning Advertiser legal expert Peter Coulson said: “These plans are out of all proportion and to involve the trade in such an initiative without some form of national policy or legislation is a step too far.
    “It places licensees between a rock and a hard place in terms of customers and the police but I am particularly concerned about the queue drop-out scenario.
    “People may wish to drop out of a queue on principle, but that shouldn’t raise suspicion of drug carrying and it smacks of guilty until proved innocent,”
    he said.
    Licensees in the East Sussex town of Lewes were given details of the scheme by police at a pubwatch meeting.
    One town-centre host said: “I can see this being exceedingly unpopular with any law-abiding citizen.
    “Customers will simply not turn up at a pub if they suspect they are going to have to go through this sort of testing.
    “We want to work with the police in the fight against drugs but we have to balance this with the effect that swab testing might have on business.
    “I have grave concerns about the implications for my licence and livelihood.”

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  1. bewilderment
    WOW. that's about all I can say...that's messed up.
  2. Micklemouse
    A general rule of thumb which has served me well is that if you have to queue to get into a pub, then the pub's not worth getting into.

    Detaining people just because they decide to leave a queue is in direct contravention of the Human Rights Act 1998 -

    Leaving a queue is not reasonable suspicion. This could one of the few occasions where cctv could be used to one's advantage - say you were arrested after deciding to go to another pub; obviously you would question why, & the arrresting officer would come out with some spiel along the lines of 'You were acting suspiciosly sunshine', 'He didn't blink enough, yer honour'. The footage could then be used to prove innocence of any suspicious activity. Remember that you have a right to a copy of every image taken of you, including cctv footage.

    I would also question the legality of random swab tests without due suspicion. This could potentially be classed as common assault, invasion of privacy, or even abh if injury is sustained as a result. Will every customer have to sign a contract of entry agreeing to an officer of the law sticking a swab in their mouth at random? Verbal or tacit agreement shouldn't be enough for this. This sucks big time, and I'm glad I don't live in Sussex. All I can say is I hope it doesn't last...
  3. Alicia
    Swim would tell them to go fuck themselves but thats her angle, specially if they force people like this.
  4. Micklemouse
    Not always the best course of action when dealing with the local bobbies I've found;)!
  5. Alicia
    Oh yeah Swim has respect for them as "people"., swims know it always ends up that way, they get funny, swim gets funny, They ask nicely on some dictatorship swab thing, Swim refuses nicely. They insist, Swim asks to leave, They enforce, Swim gets livid warns them about letting her go again one more time nicely of course. Guess where this ends up, after being touched by one of them,swim responds ;). afterwards and restrained taken in for a night in some cell. The worse thing the fuckers broke one swims heels on my shoes while trying to take them off me. on separate occasion visiting Britain

    I admit police are people as well its not there fault they have to enforce these stupid laws, but swim hates people that like doing there job just that little bit to much in a smug kinda way. And this will end like what i described above with other people who dont agree and want to walk away.
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