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Posted on Thursday 30 September 2021
L-R Sgt Matt Plumb, Paul Ward and Cllr Jonathan Dulston

A police force has become the first in the North-East to begin using a ground-breaking anti-cocaine spray to deter drug taking in pubs and clubs. 

BLOKit is the world’s first surface coating specifically designed to reduce the use of cocaine and other powdered recreational drugs. 

The clear substance can be placed on most surfaces and works by causing powdered drugs, such as cocaine, to swell and stick to the surface.

It contains the world’s most powerful bittering agent which leaves a disgusting taste that lasts for hours, should the user try and scrape off and swallow the drug. 

Supported by Darlington Borough Council, Durham Constabulary has introduced the spray at 24 licensed premises in Darlington who are part of the local Pubwatch scheme, with the aim of reducing drug taking within the town centre. 

The spray is currently in use in more than 600 licensed premises across the country, many of which have seen an 80 per cent reduction in drug taking in their premises since its introduction. 

Sergeant Matt Plumb, from Darlington Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “Darlington is just like any other large town or city – people do take recreational drugs here, and we would be naïve to think otherwise. The difference here is that we are doing something proactive to tackle it. 

“We have introduced the spray as a result of intelligence and evidence gathered over time. We regularly deploy passive drugs dogs in the town centre and what we found in the majority of the cases where the dog indicated drug use, it was found to be cocaine. 

“The risks of taking cocaine and other recreational drugs are well-documented, but it doesn’t just cause physical damage to the people who take it – it funds organised crime and can destroy the communities in which these groups operate. 

“By investing in BLOKit, we hope to deter and discourage drug use within our pubs and clubs, making the town centre a safer and more enjoyable place for everyone.” 

Paul Ward, technical director of Millwood Manufacturing and creator of the spray, added: “This is a world-first product that can be used in anywhere where drugs are thought to be taking place, such as pubs, clubs, cinemas and colleges. 

“Many of the premises in which BLOKit is already being used have reported significant reductions in drug taking within their premises, which is proof that it works.”  

Councillor Jonathan Dulston, deputy leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Durham Constabulary and Pubwatch members in the town and are pleased to see Darlington leading the way with this new initiative which is a first for police in the area. 

“Our aim is to make Darlington an even safer place to live, work and visit.”

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