Emergency Info

Guidelines on when to call the Emergency Services 999 for unwell recreational drug users

Call 999 if ANY one of the following is present:

Unconsciousness – if the patient does not respond to vocal commands, requires painful stimulus (e.g. pressure across the fingernails) to respond or does not respond at all.

Significant agitation (e.g. pacing around the room) or aggression not settling within 15 minutes.

Seizures (e.g. a convulsion similar to an epileptic fit)

Breathing difficulties such as fast breathing rate which does not settle within 15 minutes.

Heart rate over 140 beats per minute not settling within 5 minutes.

Temperature over 38.5 not settling after about 5 minutes of rest, or if very flushed and feels very hot if no thermometer is available.

Blood pressure – Systolic (“upper pressure”) over 180mmHg, or Diastolic (“lower pressure”) over 110mmHg on two repeated blood pressure measurements.

Other concerns – if there are any other concerns (e.g. severe headache, chest pain).

 
IF IN DOUBT CALL 999

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The role of police officers with licensing responsibilities is, by working in partnership with local authority licensing officers, to ensure that pubs, clubs and festivals are operated safely and legally, and that premises operate in a way that minimises drug dealing and use of dugs

Key activities of police officers with licensing responsibilities

The key activities of police officers with licensing responsibilities include:

  • Developing a constructive working relationship with local authority licensing officers,
  • Developing a constructive working relationship with owners and operators of licensed premises and organisers of festivals and events,
  • Ensuring that premises comply with the provision of the Licensing Act 2003,
  • Ensuring that door supervisors are licensed, wearing their licence at all times and operating responsibly,
  • Providing advice on public safety issues at premises in consultation with colleagues from the fire service,
  • Advising on the development of a premises drug policy,
  • Agreeing the protocols for actions taken by door supervisors in relation to illegal drugs, in particular when police officers should be called immediately. See What to do when you find drugs,
  • Advising on and agreeing search procedures and appropriate storage procedures for confiscated drugs. See What to do when you find drugs,
  • Advising on the current police position on drug testing at festivals/premises,
  • Gathering and sharing relevant intelligence on drug dealing and use with partner organisations licensed premises through Crime Reduction Partnerships, PubWatch or similar schemes or other methods,
  • Advising on the installation and monitoring of CCTV and the use of bodyworn cameras,
  • Working with premises owners and managers to resolve drug-related problems,

It is good practice for police officers with licensing responsibilities, their police colleagues, licensing officers and fire officers to co-ordinate their relevant work and enforcement efforts and to ensure that pubs, clubs and festivals playing music that is attractive to people who take drugs as part of their night out, receive appropriate inspection visits.

The risks of harm, and ultimately of fatalities, are highest at such premises.

A compendium of other useful resources can be found Helpful organisations which includes contact details for useful organisations, training providers and a whole host of specialist advice and information sources, many of them online.

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