Drug bans help turn two pubs aroundBy Becky Barnes
September 28, 2012
Banning drug users for life has helped one member of the town’s Pub and Drug Watch scheme turn two Bracknell pubs around.
Steve Holden, landlord of The Golden Farmer, in Reed’s Hill, and The Red Lion, in High Street, was described as a champion of the zero-tolerance approach by the scheme’s chairman, Simon Cottee.
Simon, catering manager at Downshire Golf Complex, said: “Steve is a prime example of how we want to raise the profile of public houses in Bracknell, making them places where decent people want to drink.”
Steve, who has worked in pubs for most of his working life, took over The Golden Farmer in January 2010 and The Red Lion in April this year.
He said: “Leopards never change their spots. I have no problem saying ‘leave and don’t come back’ and anyone caught here is banned for life. We run a tight ship. We do not allow drugs in and keep an eye on people going into the toilets. We are quite aware of the problem and alert to the signs of drugs.”
Traces of cocaine and methadone were recently found in almost all Bracknell pubs during the biggest operation of swab tests in the borough. The Pub and Drug Watch scheme was formed three-and-half years ago and involves landlords working with police and the council to eradicate violence and drug use in licensed premises.
The group also teaches staff about the signs of drug abuse, such as grinding of teeth, dilated pupils and erratic behaviour and believes banning users will have a knock-on effect on anti-social behaviour.
Steve said: “I have the belief united we stand, divided we fall. One person will go through the mill to get a person banned but once that is done it is for all pubs and bars not individual boards for each pub like it used to be.”