Extra police patrols of Doncaster town centre are now under way in the fight against Spice.
Funding for extra police officers to patrol the streets has been provided by Doncaster Council following growing concern from residents and businesses about the number of Spice users in the town centre.
Police officers are carrying out patrols between 7am and 10pm seven days a week with representatives from partner agencies, including the council, housing officials and health professionals.
Doncaster’s District Commander, Chief Superintendent Shaun Morley, said he hopes a ‘coordinated approach’ to addressing the use of Spice will result in more prosecutions of dealers and fewer users - improving the atmosphere in the town centre.
He said the homeless are the main users of the drug, which incapacitates addicts, leaving them slumped on the streets until they regain consciousness.
“We are working closely with all our partners on this issue by having a coordinated approach so that we can address the supply of the drug while offering support to vulnerable users,” he said.
“Working in an integrated way will ensure that as well as law enforcement, vulnerability issues will be addressed so that help can be offered to get users out of this vicious downward spiral where they use Spice as a form of escape.”
He said South Yorkshire Police receives calls about Spice use and associated issues on a daily basis.
“We certainly recognise that the use of Spice in Doncaster town centre is having a significant impact,” he said.
“It is the most economically and socially vulnerable in society that are largely using it because it is so cheap and accessible and we are not going to resolve this by arresting and prosecuting users,” he said.
“The part the police can play in the coordinated approach is understanding the supply networks and arresting those responsible for bring Spice into Doncaster in the first place.”