PUBS on Canvey have been given a stark warning that they could have their licences revoked after officers discovered cocaine in one establishment’s toilets.

Officers from the Castle Point community policing team carried out an operation alongside officers from Castle Point Council, to visit venues which had given them cause from concern.

They carried out an unannounced inspection to the Haystack pub, in Furtherwick Road, and used drugs swabs to check for traces of class A drugs.

Sgt Mark McQuade confirmed that traces of cocaine were found in both the male and female toilets.

The inspection came after receiving intelligence from residents and other parties.

Chief Insp Glen Westley, district commander for Castle Point, said: “We did some licensed premises checks with the council by carrying out drop-in inspections.

“When we found cocaine in the toilets, we gave them an action plan to improve.

“This is the beginning of a process with our licence holders to hold them to account.

“Obviously it is a criminal offence to have cocaine and we don’t know whose it was because it could have been there for weeks, but we want to make sure the licence holders do something about it if they are suspicious.

“If it happens again, there are laws to get licences removed. I am not saying this will happen but it is something we can consider.

“We are hot on their toes.”

Canvey councillor Peter Greig said: “It is about time that something like this is done.

“As far as I am concerned, anything do with drugs in pubs and clubs needs to be taken very seriously.

“The pubs should employ staff to check on these things, especially if their licence is at stake.

“Drugs bring nothing but misery to families.”

The manager of the Haystack was unavailable for comment when the Echo tried to reach them at the time of going to press.

Anyone with information about drug use in pubs across the Castle Point district can contact the community policing team on Essex Police 101.