'World-first' anti-cocaine spray deterring use of drugs in pubs and clubs rolled out in Darlington

A North East police force has become the first in the region to use an anti-cocaine spray to deter drug-taking in pubs and clubs.

Durham Constabulary has introduced the "BLOKit" at 24 licensed premises in Darlington with the aim of reducing drug taking within the town centre.

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 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.

More on BLOKit:

What is it?

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

How does it work?

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 a powerful bittering agent which leaves a disgusting taste that lasts for hours, should the user try and scrape off and swallow the drug.

Where is it already in use?

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

The scheme is being supported by the council who said: "Our aim is to make Darlington an even safer place to live, work and visit.”

Paul Ward, technical director of Millwood Manufacturing and creator of the spray, said it is already having an impact in reducing drug-taking in the premises where it is used.He said: “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."