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Non-Emergency Enquiries: 101

A partnership approach is needed to tackle Monkey Dust

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Staffordshire Police's head of neighbourhood policing and partnerships has warned of a potential public health crisis if an immediate, collaborative approach is not agreed.

Speaking to Sky News as part of their focus on crime and policing, Chief Superintendent Jeff Moore has called for a concerted partnership response to the drug known locally as monkey dust.

First seen in the north of the county in 2016, the synthetic drug is now causing sizeable and complex demand for the police and health services. Currently we are receiving an average of 10 or more calls a day related to monkey dust, with 950 incidents responded to in the last three months alone.

When officers respond to an incident involving a monkey dust user, they are facing users who are suffering extreme paranoia that causes them to be violent and agitated. In some extreme cases this has caused people to climb or jump from buildings or run into traffic.

Ch Supt Moore said: "The drug is highly addictive and highly unpredictable, meaning emergency services can often struggle to provide the appropriate treatment to those under the influence. Every user acts differently, displaying behaviour that is volatile and dangerous to both the user and emergency services personnel responding. The level of resource required is often far greater than we have experienced before with some suffering the effects of use for several days.

"Working with our partners we must improve education and prevention efforts to stop people taking the drug in the first place, but we also need to identify more effective ways to treat those already under the influence.

"By starting this very public conversation we hope to work with partners to create a joined-up approach that will hopefully lower the number of people using the drug and tackle the production and supply of the drug."

10 Aug 2018 09:05:51 BST
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