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Illegal Drugs


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If you discover suspected illegal drugs on the premises, make prompt contact with the police.

The law permits the management or staff to take temporary possession of a substance suspected of being an illegal drug for the purposes of preventing an offence from being committed or continued in relation to that drug, providing that all reasonable steps are taken to destroy the drug or deliver it to a person lawfully entitled to take custody of it without delay.


In taking temporary possession and disposing of suspected illegal drugs you are advised to:

  • Ensure all seizures/finds are witnessed and corroborated by a second member of staff. This protects the integrity of staff against any possible allegations
  • Seal the substance in a plastic bag. Mark this with the date and time of the seizure/find and details of the witness present. Managers may request self-sealing evidence bags from the police for use in the event of their finding suspected illegal drugs
  • Store the substance in a secure location with limited access by two senior members of staff
  • Notify the police without delay so that the substance can be collected, stored or disposed of as determined by evidential requirements
  • Record full details of the incident, including the police incident reference number.


Reporting drugs-related intelligence


Licensees and staff working in licensed premises are encouraged to forward information and intelligence on drugs related crime and anti-social behaviour to the police. Alternatively, information can be reported anonymously via Crimestoppers.


Visit the Information and advice page for contact details.