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).


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CCTV and body-worn cameras


CCTV can be used to deter and detect drug use, drug dealing or other problems. There is need for a balance in using CCTV. It can be effective in deterring drug dealing, but should not be used to intrude on the legitimate privacy of club goers. It is particularly useful to cover entrance areas and secluded areas of the venue which could be used for drug dealing.

Some clubs have also used CCTV to deter sexual harassment of customers which sometimes happens disproportionately in the corridors and areas outside toilets (since predatory individuals can target these areas). These locations need to be well-lit to ensure that CCTV cameras operate effectively.

Code of practice

Those operating CCTV are required to have the appropriate license from the SIA and to comply with the code of practice laid down by the Information Commissioner.

There should be a clear policy which ensures that digital media are securely stored and access to them only granted to appropriate personnel. Perhaps the most effective use of CCTV is the ability to send out a clear deterrent message to drug dealers and those carrying weapons including firearms, that the identity of everyone entering a venue is recorded.

Where it is not a condition of the licence, it is recommended that footage should be kept for 31 days and licence holders should ensure that there is sufficient digital storage for this purpose. Where police are called to deal with a crime, including the apprehension of drug dealers it would assist if the footage could be made immediately available this will allow police to deal immediately with the investigation and could increase the likelihood of a conviction.

Body-worm cameras

At some venues security staff have started to wear body cameras which record constantly. The footage is uploaded securely with a buffer period, typically of 30 seconds, being constantly over-written. When a door supervisor presses the record button, this enables the camera to preserve footage from 30 seconds previous to the button press.

Body worn cameras have been found to safeguard staff and the licensee and have been found to be much more reliable than CCTV since sound is also recorded; audio recordings often provide important evidence about the cause of an altercation.


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