Pubs and clubs in Kensington and Chelsea have been warned they face a possible review of their licence if their venue is found to be used by drug users and dealers.
The warning comes as Kensington and Chelsea Council revealed that of 41 premises they tested for signs of cocaine use all but two had traces of the drug. The Council’s licensing officers will be visiting all bars, pubs and clubs in the Borough over the next six months.
Council officials say venues testing positive for cocaine will be given advice on how to reduce drug use on their premises ahead of a revisit. If there are still signs of drug use and officials aren’t satisfied the licensee has taken positive action the police will consider applying to the Licensing Committee to review the premises’ licence.
Councillor Nicholas Paget-Brown, Cabinet Member for Environmental Management, said “the vast majority of cases licensees do not want drug takers in their establishment” and promised to support responsible venues.
Describing drug use as “sordid” Cllr Paget-Brown revealed that “he most common place where our officers found traces of the drug was the porcelain rim of the lavatory bowl.”
The Council and the police are recommending staff in bars, clubs and pubs make regular visits to the toilets, fix warning signs to the walls, and smear Vaseline on flat surfaces.
According to the Council one licencee made sure that his premise was drug free by gluing small stones and pebbles to all the flat surfaces in the toilet cubicles, such as the cistern and the toilet roll holder.
Sgt Trevor Lewis, from Kensington and Chelsea Police’s licensing section, said: “The type of premises that allows drug use to take place will attract drug dealers. Any premises that test positive a second time and cannot justify their inaction in introducing preventative measures, will be on their way to finding themselves at a licence review hearing.”