Each year across the UK, nightclubs are being closed following drug raids where illegal substances are found on the premises. But is there anything that club owners can do to protect themselves from the situation that often results in the loss of their license?

What can club owners do to prevent drug use on their premises?

There are certain standard security measurers that nightclubs are required to adhere to; Door Supervisors and a level of security within the club are the very least required. However, when this basic level of security are expected to supervise the entry of up to a thousand people, as well as keeping an eye on things inside, how effective can they be in watching for drug use and sales? The answer is not very. But is that the fault of the club owner? According to the law, yes it is. So what extra measures can be taken by club owners to protect themselves fully?

Bring in the dogs

Seeing a drug detection dog on the door, is psychologically one of the best deterrents against using or selling drugs on the premises of a club or event.
An effective team will includes dogs who are trained in different areas of drug detection which are known as either ‘passive’ or ‘pro-active dogs’. The proactive dog will be set to work covering key locations such as the cloakroom and toilets, whilst the passive dog will scan individuals as they come through the door. This process can be carried out several times throughout the evening to ensure maximum drug detection results.

What are the benefits?

There are vast benefits to bringing in specially trained dogs and handlers. Here are just a few:

  • When a dog locates narcotics, it creates the grounds for a search by either appropriate security personnel or Police. Completing a search of either an area or individuals can take hours, whereas the use of dogs speeds up the search process considerably.
  • A dog will provide an accurate indication as to where the contraband is and is far less intrusive than searching individuals by hand.
  • Should illegal substances be found on the premises, the presence of drug detection dogs goes a long way in showing the police and magistrates that the owner has taken every precaution possible to prevent the use and sale of drugs. This more often than not enables the club to retain its licence.
  • The club can also be advertised as a drug free zone, which can help keep insurance premiums down.

Locating a highly qualified and dedicated team

Getting the right drug detection team is imperative. The owners Rottweiler sat menacingly on the door wont cut it.
Our dogs are trained to industry approved standards, as a minimum HABC (Highfield Awarding Body Council) Level 3, adhering to current British Standards. All of our handlers are licenced by the SIA and are predominately ex-military or ex-police dog handlers with an extensive knowledge of working with dogs in an operational environment. The dogs also need to be trained to sniff out the wide variety of ‘street’ substances such as:

  • Heroin
  • Cannabis Resin
  • Cocaine
  • MDMA
  • Cannabis Herbal
  • Amphetamine
  • We also have dogs which can detect what is currently commonly known as ‘legal highs’ for example Black Mamba and Mary Joy.

When choosing a security company, ask whether the dogs are specifically trained in drug detection alone. Choosing a company who’s dogs cross over from drugs to cash for example, will slow the search process down considerably when you consider that nearly everyone coming through the door will be carrying a certain amount of cash that will be sure to alert the dogs!