A MAN was arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs after being found with a quantity of cannabis and amphetamine.
The man, who is in his fifties, was arrested in The Olive Branch, in Boutport Street, as part of the ‘pubs against drugs’ police operation.
Following his arrest on Friday evening, police executed a search at his Barnstaple home and found further quantities of cannabis and paraphernalia. He has since been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
It was a successful operation for the force and was popular with both landlords and customers.
Mandy Gardiner, 51, landlady of the Ebberley Arms, said the police presence in the town was good.
She said: “It shows the customers that there’s zero tolerance. It’s a bit of a scare tactic. It’s important for people to feel safe in the town too, you don’t want drugs going on. It’s making a statement that we’re not going to stand for it.”
PC Huw Williams, who is part of the newly formed pro-active development team at Barnstaple Police Station, said the arrest had been a “positive result”.
He said: “It’s been great working with the dogs, they did remarkably well. It’s been a great joint result. I didn’t see any negatives and members of the public looked positive and happy.”
Night time economy manager PC Paul Daw, who notified the licensees of the operation in advance, agreed.
He said: “I am pleased this operation was a success and the licencing trade fully supported us in their premises.
“Drugs are an issue in our community and operations like this show those individuals who wish to indulge or deal illegal drugs in licenced premises that they will be caught.”
Roger Hall, landlord of the Olive Branch, said he wouldn’t stand for drugs in his pub and fully supported the police.
Chief Inspector of North and West Devon Tom Holmes hailed the operation a success and said criminals would be dealt with robustly.
He said: “This kind of operation, I hope, demonstrates to the public that the police in North Devon are committed to keeping the streets as safe as possible.
“We have a vibrant nightlife and anyone using illegal drugs in North Devon will be dealt with robustly."