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Scottish ravers are being drug tested outside clubs

Customers standing in line outside clubs are being randomly approached by police officers using an itemiser and sniffer dogs

Police Scotland is facing fierce criticism for heavy handedly taking "stop and search" measures to nightclub queues. Officers are not just searching punters, they’re drug testing them on the spot. Any people who refuse to comply are denied entry into the nightclub that they’re queueing for and any who test positive are questioned, searched and potentially arrested. Sounds like a fucking terrible start to a night out, right?

According to the Daily Record, officers turned up at Club Tropicana in Aberdeen with a drug-detection device called an itemiser and a sniffer dog. If their own PR is to believed, itemisers can accurately determine if anyone is on just about any drug, ever. The machines detect drug residue on people’s skin and provide on the spot results. This one claims to be able to detect "a broad range of narcotics including cocaine, heroin, amphetamine, methamphetamine, ketamine and MDMA." Four men were charged this summer after testing positive via the itemiser, but no arrests were made outside Club Tropicana.

Naturally, people are pissed off about the idea of being treated like they’ve committed a crime, without having actually committed a crime. Club boss Tony Cochrane labelled the action a "step too far". He added: "People going for a night out are being made to feel like potential criminals."

This is a terrifying infringement on privacy and yet another pointless addition to the eternal "war on drugs". I know people always say "Don’t the police have better things to do?" but really, don’t the police have better things to do? This smacks of quota-filling, data-bashing police work carried out at the cost of other people’s freedom.

Fortunately, this nasty breed of random drug testing is so far confined just to Scotland. Please, if anybody is thinking about introducing such draconian measures to England’s nightclub queues, just absolutely don’t.