Spice ‘a key priority’ for Sheffield city centre police officers

Chief Supt Stuart Barton.
Chief Supt Stuart Barton.

Police say they sympathise with Sheffield city centre businesses affected by people taking the drug Spice and insisted work remained ongoing to clamp down on its usage and stop the supply.

Chief Supt Stuart Barton, Sheffield’s district commander, said the former legal high was being used by a ‘core group of already vulberable people’.

But he added the Sheffield Central neighbourhood police team (NPT) had made some ‘good arrests’ in terms of stopping the supply into the city.

Chief Supt Barton said: “Sppice is the city centre policing team’s key priority and that work includes helping people but also identifying those who bring it into the city.

“The problem is you walk down the street and you see the effects of it, which means we get reports of it and I totally sympathise with the businesses that are trying to work around the issue.”

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

In that time they 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.

Chief Supt Barton said: “There is a core group of already vulnerable people who are using it but it’s so visible.u

“It’s quite disturbing to see as well because these people are literally not moving and it’s such a difficult drug to police as far as the ease of access.”

The district commander said the Sheffield Central NPT had made three ‘significant’ arrests in the city centre in recent weeks.

Chief Supt Barton added: “Spice and knife crime are the biggest issues we are dealing with and spice is targeting already vulnerable people.

“We’ve had complaints about Spice but what we are going out and meeting people and explaining what we are doing.”

The drop-in clinic for Spice users runs every Thursday from 1pm-3pm at 44 Sidney Street, Sheffield, S1 4JP.

For more information call 0114 272 14.8