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Mansfield's Labour leader demands spice crackdown

Councillor Sonya Ward
Councillor Sonya Ward

The leader of the opposition in Mansfield has called for tougher measures on former 'legal highs' such as mamba and spice.

Labour leader, councillor Sonya Ward, put forward a motion at the meeting of Mansfield District Council, to write to the government to demand tougher action on spice use, which was passed by the attending councillors.

The motion said: “This Council resolves to write to the Government and demand more action is taken to stem the supply of, and address the harm caused by former so called ‘legal highs’ such as ‘spice’ and ‘mamba’

“This Council recognises that the services tasked with addressing this at grass roots level include the NHS, local councils, the Police and voluntary agencies. These very services are, at the same time, all too often already overstretched and under-funded due to the current Government’s policy of austerity and spending cuts. More investment is needed in both preventative and reactive services nationally in order to address this complex problem.”

Councillor Ward said ‘The use of former so called ‘legal highs’ – namely synthetic cannabinoids, such as Spice and Mamba is a cause of concern in the district, and across the UK. These drugs are cheap, dangerous and addictive, and their use is a national problem.

“Locally, a great deal of work is being put into addressing the problem in Mansfield town centre, with the Police and Neighbourhood wardens working closely together, but this inevitably draws limited resources away from other areas.

“Worryingly, many of the services tasked with dealing with enforcement, detection and treatment at grassroots level are already under pressure and have faced significant cuts over the last few years.

“In February, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping, reported that £54 million had been wiped off the Nottinghamshire police force budget since 2010, leading to a significant reduction in the number of police officers.

“A local ambulance crew member contacted me about the additional challenges it poses to their service, saying “I’ve lost count of the number of mamba related incidents I’ve attended this year”.

“I hope the Government will listen and act, this problem is impacting on far too many people in our district, the county and across the country – and ignoring it is not an option.’