Vapes containing harmful drugs are being supplied to children in North Yorkshire, the police said today (Wednesday).
Parents and carers in the Selby area have been urged to keep young people safe from a vape-version of a potentially dangerous drug known as ‘spice’.
Sergeant Jack Waterton, from the Selby Neighbourhood Policing Team, seized 18 bottles of vape liquid from a 17-year-old boy in the town on the evening of Friday 6 October.
He was acting on information suggesting children as young as 12 were being supplied with vapes containing drugs.
The substance was sent off for testing and the results have now confirmed them to be synthetic cannabinoids.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “Synthetic cannabinoids are lab made therefore the potency and effects can be a lot greater to anyone using them.
“As experienced in other parts of the country, the use of ‘spice’ is associated with severe health problems and can be life-threatening.”
The 17-year-old boy has now been arrested on suspicious of possession with intent to supply Class B drugs.
Following questioning in custody, he was released under investigation while enquiries continue.
Sgt Waterton said: “This is clearly a very concerning emerging issue in the Selby area.
“We are working closely with public health and other community partners to ensure the supply and use of such potentially harmful illegal substances is halted at the earliest opportunity.
“We are grateful for any information about suspected drug-related crime and this investigation shows the decisive action we take, including the initial seizure of the substances, the testing and now the arrest.
“While the investigation is ongoing, we urge parents and carers to be extra vigilant about young people using vapes and to be fully aware of what they may contain.”
Gill Kelly, consultant in public health, North Yorkshire, said: “We would like to reinforce that e-cigarettes are a product designed to help people addicted to nicotine to quit smoking for good. They are not intended for those people who have never smoked.
“Additionally, not all vapes contain regulated levels of nicotine, or even nicotine itself, but may be filled with substances that may cause harm.”
If you can help police, you can contact them on the numbers below.
How to help the police
- Call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 4 and ask for the Force Control Room
- Contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via the website
- Quote reference number 12230191466