A POLICE team descended on a troubled snooker club in Benfleet – and tested 80 people for drugs.

Officers spent an evening at Rileys, in the High Road, following concerns about non-members trying to get in and cause trouble.

During the raid they swabbed the hands of 80 people to check for traces of cocaine.

Two of them tested positive and were searched, but no drugs were found. The pair were turned away from the club.

Sgt Mark McQuade, of Benfleet police, said they had been invited to the club to help the owner keep the troublemakers out.

He said: “It was just antisocial, rowdy behaviour and people trying to get in who are not members.

“They had been banging on doors and causing a disturbance.

“The manager had to go out there and call us. Hopefully we will stop that happening in the future.”

The team of two neighbourhood specialist officers, four special constables, and several licensing officers were there for about five hours.

Mr McQuade said they were now hoping to cary out similar operations at licensed premises across the rest of the borough.

He said: “We have to get the landlords on board with it and sometimes the brewery, and if they are happy for us to do it we’ll go down there. It’s always good for the residents and customers that they feel a bit of peace of mind because we are there.”