Saturday, 1 November 2008

The One That Will Not Be Going For A Pint In Aberdeen. . .

I'm really at a loss on this one. I'm so flabbergasted that I'll just quote the leading text of this news story from Al-Beeb:

Pub-goers in Aberdeen are facing a drugs test before entering bars as part of a crackdown by Grampian Police.

So, is this some kind of sobriety test akin to the ones we see used by American cops on the roadside?

Well, no.

Officers in the force will be the first in Scotland to use an Itemiser - a device which can detect traces of drugs from hand swabs in a matter of seconds.

I'm not sure how that would effect somebody working in a dispensing chemist or a pharmaceutical firm. But let's see what else is going on. . .

The test is voluntary,

Oh, so that doesn't seem too bad then, you can tell them to piss off in the nicest possible way then. . .

. . . but customers will be refused entry if they do not take part.

Of for the love of God. What is wrong with these people? Look, I don't like drugs, I don't use drugs (yeah, yeah booze and baccy, but you know) and think that people who deal in drugs should be cast into a dark pit of their own filth. But you cannot just blanket target everybody, just because they might have traces of drugs on them. Despite saying in the report that people could be searched if they return an amber reading on the machine, the very act of taking hand swabs, in my book, constitutes a search. It is another example of everything that is wrong with this country. Where are the reasonable grounds or suspicion? Is entering the pub grounds for suspicion that you are there solely to deal in drugs? How do the landlords feel about this? Has a similar line been taken with them as it has with his punters? Have they been told 'It is voluntary, but if you don't do it, we'll suspend your licence.'

This is the worst, most cowardly way of doing business and I'd love to know what the effects of this programme are on the pubs' takings. I wouldn't have drugs on me. I would object to the search on the basis of my own personal liberty to not be searched trying to enter a pub, and so walk away. I would also be thinking to myself 'this pub obviously has a drugs problem, I'll go elsewhere as I don't want to be in there.'

Sometimes I get so angry. . .

1 comment:

Leg-iron said...

I'm not far from Aberdeen. I work in a lab.

Maybe I can find time for a pint one evening, after work, after handling some medications...

I wonder if they'll let me take the test every time I go outside for a smoke.

Seriously though, there are a lot of pubs in Aberdeen. A lot. Those that are targeted will find their client base dwindling, and the druggies will just go to one of the many backstreet pubs instead.

As usual, this will achieve nothing at all other than to treat everyone as a criminal.

Business as usual for our Persons in Blue, eh?

(I usually ignore the word verification but this one is 'idruse'. A portent?)