What to do if you suspect drugs in your bar

I published this article on Barkeeper.ie last year and since I’ve been getting more and more requests for information lately from bar owners who want to know what they should do when they find drugs or drug dealing in their premises, I think you might find it useful if I republish the main points here. We got these suggestions from the Irish Police (Gardai).

Guidelines for Bar Owners / Managers:

Inform staff about what you expect them to do if they suspect that a customer is involved with drugs on your premises.

Consider the introduction of compulsory searches of persons entering your premises – this could be a condition of entry.

If a person is suspected of drug use, keep that person under observation using CCTV and staff, as appropriate.

Contact local Police, giving details, if suspected drug dealing is taking place.

Ensure a liaison officer is appointed within your business to deal with the Police liaison officer and hold regular meetings between officers as required.

Check the premises for evidence of drug use on a regular basis.

Ensure staff pay particular attention to quiet or hidden areas of premises, including toilets.

Door staff should monitor queues in order to prevent drug dealing, as well as to prevent access to the premises by persons under the influence of drugs.

Record instances of seizures / arrests.

Exchange information between license holders in relation to suspected drug dealers.

Ensure CCTV systems are utilised to maximum benefit.

Keep premises clean and tidy.

Any other suggestions?

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