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Mayhem raid is start of "major crackdown" on drug dealing in Southend
11:09am Saturday 22nd September 2012 in News
A SENIOR cop has warned that a raid at Southend's Mayhem nightclub is the start of a "major crackdown" on drug dealing in the town.
Supt Andy Prophet, area police commander for Southend, said action will be taken against those who adopt a "lax" attitude towards dealing after last night's raid.
About 100 officers stormed into the club as part of an operation that was put together after reports were received about alleged drug dealing taking place there.
Staff and customers were searched and a quantity of drugs in pill form was found inside the nightspot.
Police sniffer dogs also found a number of "positive results" on people as they left, but no drugs were found.
Officers seized several weeks of CCTV footage and will review it in detail as part of their investigations to see if there is evidence of dealing.
Police are now said to be considering whether the club's licence should be reviewed.
Supt Prophet said: "This operation is the start of a major crackdown on drug dealing and associated crime by a small minority of people using clubs and bars for their trade.
"Police will use every method available to us to get information to arrest and prosecute dealers.
"We will work with clubs and bars, but where they are lax or tolerant of dealing, we will ensure compliance with licensing rules.
"I want to ensure that any resident or visitor to Southend can enjoy a drug and crime free night out in our town."
Mr Prophet has apologised for any "dismay" the operation may have caused, but said action is needed to protect innocent people who just want to enjoy a night out.
He added: "I recognise that we caused inconvenience and perhaps dismay to the vast majority of the hundreds of entirely innocent clubbers present last night.
"I would apologise to them, and thank them all for their patience and understanding. I regret that sometimes policing causes problems for innocent people, but I know too from comments made to officers, that people appreciate what has to be done to stop that small criminal minority ruining the great nightlife we have here."
Mayhem also thanked its customers for their co-operation on Twitter this morning, Saturday.
It is offering them free entry until 11pm next Friday, September 28, and a free drink as people were not able to be reimbursed last night.