PCC Wants Spice Drug Upgraded To Class A

30 August 2018, 09:41 | Updated: 30 August 2018, 09:47

Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner is calling for the drug Spice to be upgraded to class A.

Alison Hernandez has joined other PCC’s across the country to highlight what they say are the growing public health concerns around the use of the drug and the extra pressures it is putting on the police. 

Figures show between 2015 and 2017 there were 59 deaths linked to the drug, while between 1993 and 2014 there were three deaths linked to its consumption.

Alison Hernandez said: “We have seen a huge increase in the use of synthetic cannabinoid substances like Spice across Devon and Cornwall in recent years.

“It is becoming a growing concern for our communities – we’re not getting to the bottom of why people are taking these substances or giving them adequate support to get off them and in the meantime our police force, the NHS, our prisons and the public are having to deal with the consequences.

“We need to send a message that taking and dealing Spice is totally unacceptable.”

In a letter written by the Lincolnshire PCC, Marc Jones, he writes: “As public health and substance misuse services are not currently taking the lead in meeting this growing challenge it is falling to the police to respond to public concerns of community safety, adding yet further to policing demand without addressing the underlying issues.

“It must be made clear to the public and young people in particular just how dangerous and serious the taking of Spice is and the current classification as B does not do that.”

Speaking on behalf of the Torquay Chamber of Commerce, Chair Susie Colley says that spice is being used blatantly in Torquay.

“We are very conscious that the police are doing all they can to stop the drug being available but due to the cut backs in numbers this is proving challenging.  MPs, Number 10 and the Courts must wake up to reality that austerity is now undermining the very infrastructure of our society,” she said.

“A hefty dose of realism should be served up to make them all understand that we need more police,  more funding for social care and the Government needs to reclassify Spice and its derivatives as class A drugs.”