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Worker fears Spice users are making Sheffield city centre 'unsafe'

This picture on Arundel Gate at around 5.20pm on Friday, August 3.
This picture on Arundel Gate at around 5.20pm on Friday, August 3.
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A Sheffield city centre worker has said she no longer feels safe as the rise in the use of the drug Spice threatens to run out of control.

The woman, who did not want to be named, took this picture of a group of people, thought to have taken the class B drug on Friday as she headed home.

Spice, which was a legal high up until 2016, leads to users being left in a zombie-like state.

She said: "I see this all the time morning and evening and I no longer feel safe working in the city centre.

"I know these people have a problem but I'm alarmed as a society that this is the norm and I think city centre ambassadors and police should be in city centre sorting this out.

"There was no ambulance or help in sight and I was on the bus so I did not want to get involved."

The pictures are a common theme across Sheffield and other city and town centres and something which South Yorkshire Police's Chief Constable Stephen Watson said was 'blighting' the city.

The woman added: "We are promoting Sheffield by the seaside and urging people to bring their kids into town where they see stuff like this."

Chief Constable Stephen Watson said the former legal high, which was re-criminalised as a class B drug in 2016, was 'blighting' city had prompted a lot of concern from the public as it leads to users being left in a zombie-like state.

Mr Watson said: "Spice is a really difficult issue and it's one that I, personally, am concerned about. I have been out on patrol with officers in the town and city centres and have found myself literally pulling some chap up from the gutter who has been lying on his face.

"When you come across these people, who frankly, have been stupid enough to have consumed Spice, it creates in them this sort of zombie-like state which is very visible and quite distressing for members of the public and also puts the individual at huge risk of vulnerability because they have rendered themselves completely helpless."

Sheffield Council opened a dedicated walk-in Spice clinic last month following growing sightings around the city centre of people rendered unconscious or in a trance-like state after taking the drug.

Anyone affected by spice can call the Sheffield Drugs and Alcohol Co-ordination Team on 0114 272 1481. They can also visit the drop-in clinic at 44 Sidney Street, which is open from 9am-5pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and from 9am-7pm on Wednesdays.