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The West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner has joined other PCCs calling for ‘Spice’ to be reclassified as a Class A drug, because of the devastating impact it can have.

In a letter to the Home Office, Commissioner John Campion is one of 20 PCCs raising the issue of synthetic cannabinoid products, which have emerged on the drugs market within recent years and can have incapacitating and unpredictable psychoactive effects on users.

The substances have been linked to 27 deaths in one year* and are creating extra demand for policing and other public services. In West Mercia, the Commissioner has provided grant funding for drug addiction services including Addaction in Herefordshire and Shropshire, Telford STaRS, Swanswell in Worcestershire and Shropshire Recovery Partnership.

Commissioner John Campion said “I welcome the Governments approach to tackling illegal substance misuse, however there is more to be done around this specific emerging issue. I pledge to contribute as commissioner through grant funding and by ensuring our local police force have the resources to deal with the changing picture. This issue needs an effective and consistent approach, with involvement from all agencies including public health, mental health and addiction services. Together we can work to tackle the root of this complex issue in order to reduce demand on public services, and the issues associated with psychoactive substances in our communities.”

*ONS figures show that were 27 deaths nationally in 2016.

Issued: Friday 31st August 2018