Following up from the story about The Sun carrying out an investigation which seemed to suggest that cocaine is being found throughout many of the bingo halls in the UK, the police are now responding with investigations of their own.
For example, Essex police are investigating claims that Class A drugs are being taken at a popular bingo hall in south Essex.
Traces of cocaine have reportedly been found in the men’s toilets at the Gala Bingo hall in Basildon.
Samples were also taken at the Mecca Bingo in Grays, but no drug traces were found.
Chairman of the Island of Hope anti-drug charity, Philip Ball from Pitsea said: “A lot of pubs and clubs are now taking away the tops of toilets or putting them at an angle to prevent people snorting cocaine off them, so maybe bingo halls are going to have to consider doing the same.
“We’re finding a lot of the older population is not turning to drugs, but more commonly to relaxants such as cannabis.
“I can understand a lot of people being surprised by these findings though. Drinking used to be a problem in poorer communities, but now it is probably cheaper to do cocaine.”
Gala Bingo states in its Membership policy the use of illegal drugs on its premises is taken very seriously, and the firm has promised to work closely with the police.
A spokesman said: “We specifically prohibit the taking of illegal drugs on our premises in our members’ agreement and will investigate and act on any potential breaches, including immediately informing the police.”
A police spokesman said: “We are aware of the report and our officers will be making inquiries.”