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Cocaine found in Flintshire council HQ, court and supermarkets

Question: What have Mold’s law courts, Flintshire County Council HQ and two of the county’s biggest supermarkets got in common?

Answer: Cocaine has been snorted in all four.


AN INVESTIGATION by The Flintshire Chronicle has revealed the Class A drug cocaine is being snorted in the halls of power and justice.

We discovered traces of the potentially deadly substance at both Flintshire County Council’s Mold HQ and the town’s law courts.

And tests at Asda in Queensferry and Tesco at Broughton Shopping Park also showed positive results – meaning the drug has been taken in two of the county’s biggest supermarkets.

The swabs can be ordered on the internet from Oldham-based Crackdown Drug Testing Ltd, which also markets its kits to law enforcement agencies.

Dave Rigg, the owner of the company, was a Greater Manchester Police officer for 18 years.

He said the pink swabs are regularly used by British police forces to detect whether cocaine – possession of which can get you up to seven years in prison for – is present in pubs and clubs.

“They will go blue if there’s either cocaine there or cutting agents used in cocaine,” said Mr Rigg.

“There’s nothing else that will make it go blue – it can’t be cleaning fluids or anything like that.

“There needs to be a certain amount present to make it go blue, so if it does there has definitely been cocaine on that surface.”

The Chronicle tested the men’s toilets by the main reception area at County Hall and the downstairs loos at the courthouse.

After wiping the swabs over cisterns, toilet roll holders and loo seats, the cobalt-blue blotches appeared – indicating cocaine was present.

Flintshire County Council chief executive Colin Everett said: “It is of serious concern that evidence of a Class A drug is alleged to have been found in public toilets used mainly by visitors.

“The council has an alcohol and substance misuse policy which states that we do not allow on our premises at any time the use or possession of, or the dealing in drugs.

“However, it would be impossible and inappropriate to police all toilets in council buildings, particularly those which are used by visitors.”

A spokesman for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) said: “HMCTS takes the issue of security within courts extremely seriously.

“Security checks are carried out at all courts across the country to safeguard the public and to prevent illegal activity taking place on court premises.

“Public areas in all courts are patrolled regularly and police are immediately notified of anyone carrying out illegal activities, including those found to be using or carrying illegal drugs.”

Cocaine was also detected in the men’s customer toilets at Asda in Queensferry and Tesco at Broughton Shopping Park.

Possession of the addictive drug can get you up to seven years in jail and a conviction for supplying can result in a life sentence.

An Asda spokesman said: “Thanks for flagging this up with us. We take allegations of this nature really seriously.

“We are talking to the police and will keep a vigilant eye out for any further inappropriate behaviour.”

But Tesco said the results ‘are not evidence of drug taking in our store’.

A spokesman said: “We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drugs and our colleagues receive training on how to deal with any customers who are acting suspiciously in our store.

“Our toilets are also cleaned and checked regularly to ensure they are maintained to a high standard.

“Whilst the test results are not evidence of drug taking in our store, we take any illegal activity very seriously and investigate thoroughly where appropriate.”

North Wales Police had not responded to a request for a comment when the Chronicle went to press yesterday afternoon (Wednesday).

Tests were also done at the council-run leisure centres in Deeside and Buckley, both of which were negative.

McDonald’s in Mold and the Chronicle office on Sealand Road, Chester, were also clean.