Pub’s second chance after police drug raid

A PUB which was rife with cocaine takers has been allowed to stay open.

The Travellers Joy, in Down Hall Road, Rayleigh, has made sufficient changes following a huge police bust.

It was raided by 60 police officers on Friday, July 15. Two people were caught with cocaine and cautioned for possession.

A hearing of Rochford district council’s licensing sub-committee heard all the pub’s toilets were swabbed for drugs.

Readings were “high” for cocaine in one cubicle, and the drug could be seen on the back of a toilet. The Class A drug was also visible on another toilet seat and on the top of the cistern.

The pub now has new management, door staff, a new designated premises supervisor, Adam Crane, and must abide by 12 strict conditions.

Scott Moore, area manager for the pub’s owner, Greene King, is confident problems are behind them. He said: “We have spent £5,000 upgrading CCTV cameras.

“We had 14 and we now have 20, which are HD, and have been modified to cover wider angles.

“We have a new premises supervisor and our customer base has changed.

“We are more family-orientated now, with the food trade, and we are keen to have bouncy castles and fun days.”

After the raid, Sgt Danny Barnes, of the Essex Police licensing unit, served papers on the venue, which led to the review.

He said: “I am happy we made the right decision in agreeing strict conditions at the hearing.