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UK: Tough warning for Lancing cannabis cafe

Worthing Herald

Thursday 25 Oct 2007

POLICE have warned people visiting Lancing's suspected cannbis café they
face the risk of a criminal record.

The site, in Freshbrook Road, was reopened days after a dramatic raid.
Officers used a tractor to pull a window from the heavily-fortified
building, on Thursday, October 11.

Now a tyre wall has been erected around the outside of the building,
with razor-wire and vehicle height restriction bars also in place.

Inspector James Asser, of Adur police, told the Herald this week: "We
will not tolerate drug taking in the community – it is as simple as that."

Arrest and charge

Officers are permitted to confiscate drugs and issue warnings to those
caught with cannabis, but Insp Asser said they would push for stronger
penalties because the so-called "cannabis warnings" were being abused.

He said: "People were meeting round the corner and going to get more,
and that is not what they were designed for.

"We will arrest and charge rather than give our cannabis warnings.

"People entering the premises face the risk of a criminal record."

Adur police district commander Chief Inspector Lawrence Hobbs said the
aim was still to close down the suspected cannabis café.

He added residents had told officers they were doing the right thing,
and reiterated the operation was not about targeting people smoking
cannabis in the privacy of their own home.

Ch Insp Hobbs said: "This is about tackling a very serious community issue.

"Twenty or 30 people at a time are converging on a quiet, residential
area to take illegal drugs.

"The local community has given us a very clear mandate and we will act
within the power of the law to achieve that."

Adur police and the Herald are keen to hear people's views on the café
and the ongoing operation.

Take part in the vote

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suspected cannabis café?

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