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Sniffer dogs on door duty at clubs

NIGHTCLUBS IN County Down, Northern Ireland are employing sniffer dogs on their doors to root out people smuggling drugs.

Several premises in Banbridge are using the specially trained dogs, which are usually seen trying to detect contraband at airports or being used by police in drug detection duties.
Ten people were detected with drugs on the first night that Springer Spaniel Molly began work at the BLU nightclub at the Bannville House Hotel.

Quantities of cannabis and cocaine were confiscated and the police were called. A sniffer dog is also being used to screen people entering the nearby Coach nightclub in the town centre.
The animals are operated by a company that specialises in dog handling and the detection of illegal drugs and are to be employed as a permanent fixture to deter drug smuggling amongst the nightclub’s patrons.

The Bannville House Hotel said it wanted to stamp out drugs in its nightclub to prevent trouble that had occurred in other venues in the town.

‘The dog is a great deterrent and has been very successful,’ said a spokesman. ‘People are very wary of the dog which detects a number of things. It has already detected drugs - when this happens we contact the police and they take it from there.’

Molly’s handler – who declined to be identified - told a local newspaper how people carrying drugs saw the dog and then tried to get rid of them before going into the nightclub.

‘There are very few drug sniffer dogs in Northern Ireland - there's the private company I work for and another company in Dublin,’ he said. ‘People are making big money from drugs which is making them more popular.

‘I think other clubs will see how effective this initiative is and introduce a dog to their venue.’