‘UK’s Magaluf’ now riddled with drugs as police launch desperate operation to save town

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What was once known as Britain’s answer to Magaluf is contending with another challenge to its reputation, as youngsters are flocking to the picturesque coastal town to ply themselves with drugs. Newquay, in Cornwall, is a tourist hotspot with holidaymakers drawn to its gorgeous seafront.

However, the town’s well known party scene is now attracting the illegal narcotics trade, with county lines gangs reportedly selling heroin, crack, cocaine and weed in the once idyllic area.

Devon and Cornwall Police claimed 18.7kg of cocaine in the year to March 2022, compared to 16.2kg last year.

Ketamine is also a problem in the West Country town with authorities seizing significantly more in 2022 compared to 2021 – 1.8kg up from 0.3kg, according to the Home Office.

The Sun reported that last week a teenager suffered a seizure at a teen club night, which police believe was “drug induced”.

St Austell, Truro and Penzance all saw raids in April, leading to 31 arrests. The operation was designed to target drug gangs operating in the area from as far away as Merseyside.

One former doorman turned surf shop boss, who moved to Newquay from Norfolk in 1983, said he’s witnessed a radical change in the feel of the once quaint seaside resort.

He told the Sun: “In those days people would often come out at 10pm or later, they’d be already drunk and wanting to party, and it would get quite messy. It was the party capital at that point and the streets were packed with groups of young people.

“As a doorman I saw all sorts. I remember opening a toilet cubicle, the floor would be flooded in urine, but they’d be snorting cocaine and kneeling in it, because they were so out of it. Now the drug problem here is different. There are areas of Newquay which have become synonymous with drugs.”

Despite the town’s emerging drug problem, local businesspeople have argued that Newquay’s previous incarnation as a party hub was more destructive.

In 2009, police and the local council banded together to put a stop to the scourge of tanked-up clubbers, outlawing t-shirts emblazoned with rude words and pornographic inflatables regularly seen on stag and hen dos.

Confronting the drugs battle Devon and Cornwall police intend to use “direct financial investment” to once again tidy up the town.