Police shut down a popular Skegness nightclub for more than two hours at the weekend after receiving intelligence that drug dealing was taking place in the area.
Patrol cars were lined up alongside Tower Gardens in Rutland Road as officers shone torches at the back of Flirtz lap dancing club ahead of the operation which started at midnight last Friday night.
The Standard was there to witness two shifts of officers from Skegness, led by Coast Insp Colin Haigh and supported by East Midlands Operational Support Service, march in procession from Tower Gardens to the entrance of Flirtz off Lumley Road.
Other officers stood outside the entrance to turn customers away, only informing them the club was closed but it may be open again later.
One of around 20 men turned away from the club said: “You’re joking – this is the quietest, safest place in Skegness.”
Insp Haigh told the Standard: “We have a magistrates’ warrant to search the club after receiving intelligence drug dealing is taking place on the premises.”
Inside Flirtz, according to owner Phil Thompson, the atmosphere was ‘intense’ as police and police dog Joe searched every corner of the club and cars belonging to the staff.
Mr Thompson said: “Our customers and staff were searched but the police didn’t find a thing – only historic traces of drugs.
“Some of the staff were upset because they had never experienced anything like this before and I had to sit them down afterwards and give them a drink.
“We don’t allow drugs here. The brother of my partner was really messed up with drugs and we know what they can do.
“The police have made an example of Skegness for the past two months and we lost a night’s business. But that’s fine. Bring it on. Police won’t find drugs here.”
Insp Haigh said: “We acted on intelligence and there were enough traces of drugs found on the premises to make the operation worthwhile.
“Our message is clear – drugs are not welcome in Skegness.”