South Yorkshire Police to share tips with colleagues from around the country in hope of ridding Sheffield of spice

Police officers who patrol Sheffield city centre will meet with colleagues from neighbouring cities to share ideas on how to clampdown on the drug spice.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 11th December 2018, 8:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th December 2018, 9:00 pm

Members of the Sheffield Central neighbourhood police team will meet officers from forces in Manchester, Hull and Derby to share ideas on how to rid the former legal high '“ and its visible effects '“ from the city's streets.

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Spice, which was reclassified as a Class B drug in 2016, leaves users in an almost '˜zombie-like' state.

Speaking at a meeting of Sheffield City Centre Residents Action Group, PC Paul Briggs said: 'We are currently working on a project where we are going to meet up with community teams from Manchester, Hull and Derby to see whether or not we can learn from some of the stuff they are doing which we maybe haven't thought of.

'We have made some real in-roads into street dealing and supply and at the moment we have got a bit of a period of stability where you won't see as many of the '˜zombie people' as you have in the past.

Sheffield Council opened a specialist spice clinic on Sidney Street in July, in direct response to the growing problem.

Since its opening, staff at the clinic have already helped a number of people, and have notched up some notable successes, including one user who has gone back to work after receiving help.

The drug seems to be being taken by the most vulnerable in Sheffield '“ many of whom are homeless.

PC Briggs added: 'We seem to have made some good progress in terms of cutting off the supply. There is still some work to be done but I think we have not done so bad recently.

'We can't enforce our way out of this issue. We have found recently, particularly around begging, that we get people to court who have not got any money and they get massive fines because the legislation is so archaic.'

PC Briggs said the force had also received four business impact statements from firms on East Parade about the effect people taking spice near their premises was having on trade.

The council's drop-in clinic for Spice users runs every Thursday from 1pm-3pm at 44 Sidney Street, Sheffield, S1 4JP. Buzzcocks singer Pete Shelley dies, say reports.

For more information call 0114 272 1481.