Spice In Norwich: Police Stats Chart Rise And Fall Of Dangerous Drug

Spice, the drug that turns people into 'zombies', has become a prison drug in Norwich.

By Finley, 15, Harry, 14, and Brandon, 14, Norwich · April 9, 2020

Pic: Shutterstock

42 crimes involving the illegal drug spice or other psychoactive drugs have been committed in Norwich in the last five years. 

In 2014, this stood at just two crimes, but by 2015, this figure had risen to 14. A further 11 and 10 crimes were committed in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

However, crimes related to the drug, which include possession, assault, and throwing items into a prison, fell to two in 2018 and three in 2019. 

Of the 42 crimes, 34 of them were related to prisons or custodial institutions.

In 2017, The Guardian reported on “How spice, ‘the zombie drug’, is devastating communities”, describing it as a “synthetic substance that emerged only three years ago has already wreaked chaos within the prison service and placed huge pressures on the emergency services.”

Linda Rogers, an area manager with the drug charity Arch, told the paper: “It destroys communities. We’ve had people who’ve worked most of their lives and are now addicted to this for one reason or another – because of stress, relationship break-ups, the loss of a job.”

The findings were sourced via a Freedom of Information request to Norfolk Constabulary by the media literacy charity The Student View.

Why did students cover this story?

Brandon, Finley, and Harry, from Norwich, said: “We are writing this article about the drug ‘spice’ because we thought it was an interesting and overlooked issue that should be addressed more than it is currently. We believe that the severity of the drug is not reflected accurately by its presence in the media, and we hope that this article can shed some light on this horrific drug.”

How did it make our journalists feel?

“The answers we got back made us feel like the police cared about the number of crimes involving the use of the synthetic drug spice. They believe that it needs to be publicised and spoken about because it is such a dangerous drug. It is not very popular right now, so we think we need to nip this in the bud before it grows too much and gets out of control of the government.”