This is just a reflection of how widely drugs are used'

By Abrad · Jun 14, 2006 · ·
  1. Abrad
    Reporter Paul Leat tests the Bucks Free Press toilets
    Drug use in Wycombe is above the national average according to Home Office statistics. In recent weeks the Free Press has been out to uncover the extent of the problem with popular drug cocaine in High Wycombe by testing public places in the town.

    PAUL LEAT reports...

    RANDOM drugs tests carried out in toilets across Wycombe has thrown up some interesting results, a Free Press investigation can reveal.

    I took a Home Office-approved kit that detects a microscopic amount of drugs on toilet seats and cisterns to nine venues including pubs, a hospital, police station, a youth centre, and even in our very own BFP toilets.

    But surprisingly, only three places had traces of the drug.

    These were unisex disabled public toilets at Wycombe District Council offices, and town centre pubs The Falcon in Cornmarket and The Glasshouse in Crown Lane.

    Catherine Spalton, spokesperson for Wycombe District Council, in Queen Victoria Road, said: "We were disappointed to learn that traces of cocaine had been found in the public toilets in the customer service centre, which has had over 22,000 visitors since it open last January. We are grateful that the BFP has brought it to our attention.

    "This is a reflection of just how widely drugs are used, not just in High Wycombe, but across the country generally. These public conveniences are available for anyone to use and clearly it is impossible to monitor what goes on inside a toilet cubicle. We have alerted our security staff to the situation and will take firm action against anyone known to be taking illegal drugs on our premises."

    The tests can detect traces of cocaine 1,000 times smaller than the eye can see.

    The results can be used as evidence in a court.

    David Brindle, licensee at The Glasshouse, said he would be contacing crime prevention officers at High Wycombe police station to try to clamp down on the issue. He said: "We are very concerned about these findings in our establishment. We have a complete zero tolerance policy to drugs and if we find anyone using or dealing drugs they will be reported to the police."

    Mr Brindle said staff carry out regular checks in the toilets and monitor the behaviour of people leaving the toilets. The bar is also covered by CCTV cameras.

    Eddie Gershon, a spokesman for JD Wetherspoons, the group behind The Falcon, said the pub is monitored by CCTV and that a cubicle is the only place on the premises that someone could get away with taking an illegal drug.

    He said: "Wetherspoons takes the issue of drugs very seriously. It has a very good track record on this issue through the vigilance of the staff and by the CCTV cameras. Unlike in other pubs, our toilets are checked every hour.

    "However it is impossible to monitor what goes on inside a cubicle. The manager and staff are always on the lookout and drugs will not be tolerated."

    A test in a male toilet cubicle at High Wycombe Police Station proved negative.

    Acting Detective Inspector Ian Holmes said: "Thames Valley Police take all information on Class A drug activity very seriously whether it be drug dealing or use.

    "The Bucks Basic Command Unit drugs strategy aims to tackle drugs issues with focussed, clear aims and objectives which engage the extended police family, community and partners."

    He added: "In the past three months we have executed 28 drugs warrants in the High Wycombe area, and have five ongoing drugs operations."

    Public toilets in the foyer at Wycombe Sports Centre were found to be free of any traces of the class A drug.

    Charlotte Murray, spokesperson for Wycombe Leisure, said: "Wycombe Leisure Limited operate all our centres with a zero tolerance policy towards drug and substance abuse. We are pleased to confirm that this has never been an issue with our leisure centres and hopefully with our vigilant staff, will never become an issue.

    "With the amount of customers Wycombe Sports Centre sees every day, it is important that we ensure their welfare and safety at all times and this includes being aware of potential threats such as drug and substance abuse."

    Negative results were found in toilets at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, Wycombe Hospital and Lane End Youth and Community Centre.

    A negative test result was also recorded at the newsroom toilets at the Bucks Free Press.

    The tests were carried out using Drugswipe kits available from {source removed}

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  1. IHrtHalucingens
    If these establishments didnt have any idea about this going on then obviously whoever was doing the cocaine on the toilets were not bothering anyone or causing an unenjoyable experience for anyone, so who cares!?!? grrr
  2. Alfa
    I think this is a good thing. Little by little it is revealed that the use of cocaine is massive. The measurements of the Thames showed London's cocaine use to be many times more than estimated. 5 times if I recollect it well. If enough of these measurements are done, sooner or later the realisation will come that, the amount of people using cocaine is actually large and in all classes.
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