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Friday, 18 January, 2019

Zero tolerance: Musselburgh boss says course is not the place to bring drugs

Musselburgh has been been employing police sniffer dogs in an attempt to clampdown on recreational drug taking for more than 18 months
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East Lothian Police say the details of ten individuals have been passed to Scotland’s Procurator Fiscal in connection with “drug-related offences” following Musselburgh’s meeting on Saturday.

No arrests were made and Musselburgh manager Bill Farnsworth believes that a long-term partnership with the police is paying dividends in the course’s attempts to underline its low tolerance for recreational drug taking. 

"The police first brought it to our attention that drugs were widely used outside of the racecourse and that they suspected they were coming into the racecourse so we started taking action over 18 months ago," he said.

"I think we've been doing as much as we can. I hope we've got the message out there that this is not a place to bring drugs and if you do you will be caught.

Bill Farnsworth says Musselburgh has been proactive in the fight against bringing drugs into the racecourse
"I sit on the RCA board and when they very helpfully brought in the 'Pace Yourself' drink awareness campaign, I remember saying that we had to look out for drugs as well. The RCA took that on board and there is a lot of work that goes on around the racecourses.

"We've been proactive at Musselburgh, getting the sniffer dogs in and getting the message out on social media and hopefully that has paid off."

East Lothian police would not be drawn on the exact nature of the offences, which occurred on the course's ladies' day when it played host to a crowd of 10,000.

Inspector Andrew Harborow from Tranent police station said: "Officers in East Lothian work in partnership with Musselburgh racecourse to ensure the safety of all those attending events.

"As part of a joint initiative with the event organisers, which aims to reduce the risk of harm to the public, a search operation was conducted at Musselburgh racecourse on Saturday June 2. This was supported by specialist officers from Police Scotland’s dog section.

"As a result ten people will be reported to the procurator fiscal in connection with drug offences."

There has been increased focus on recreational drugs – and in particular the rising prevalence of cocaine – in the wake of violent incidents on racecourses including high-profile fights at Goodwood and Ascot on recent Saturdays. 

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I hope we've got the message out there that this is not a place to bring drugs and if you do you will be caught

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