The policing chief for Mansfield says tackling spice use in the town remains one of the force’s key priorities moving forward.
In a question and answer session with your Chad, Mansfield’s district commander Nick Butler set out what he believes are the most pressing issues facing the town, and revealed his strategy to combat them.
One of the key areas was on tackling anti-social behaviour through the use of spice, which he says is one of the biggest issues faced by Mansfield Police on a daily basis.
On the issue, he says the work between the police and agencies such as the Mansfield BID and Framework to support both spice users and the homeless is a “necessary step forward”.
He said: “I think it is paramount for police officers to be able to work with Framework, with the BID and with the fire service to offer support to these people and not treat them like criminals.
“Yes, of course, when we go to help them they can become aggravated and they may even become violent, and in cases like this we have made arrests, but first and foremost they are victims of circumstance and must be treated that way.
“However we recognise that the anti-social behaviour is a key issue for the people in our town centre, and as we always say making people feel safe on the streets should be our aim at all times.
“It is not nice for people to see spice users passed out on the street in the middle of the day, and the users can often be violent or loud during the day which is which we are there to police them.”
Mr Butler was also asked about the debate of reclassification of spice to class A.
He said: “The issue with its current classification is that it’s put on the same level as cannabis.
“This is a synthetic drug made in a laboratory which is nothing like cannabis and I feel that reclassification should address this issue.
“However it will not solve all of the problems with the drug.”
He also stressed that, while the police is experiencing a cut in funding from central government, Mansfield Police is coping “very well” with the issues at hand and is in a “positive stead” for the future.