Stark Rise In Spice Crime In Manchester Shown By New Figures

Across Greater Manchester, crimes related to the drug Spice have risen from one to 142 offences over two years.

By Shawn, 14, and Jemma, 17, Oldham · September 30, 2019

Spice-related drug crime has risen significantly in the last two years across Greater Manchester, from just one offence in 2016 to 143 in 2018.

According to a Freedom of Information request filed to Greater Manchester Police, spice-related drug crimes did not exist in Manchester until 2016. Supply and possession charges have since risen to one in 2016, to 138 and 143 in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Pic: Unsplash/ Tuesday Temptation

Oldham escapes the worst

As part of Greater Manchester, Oldham appears to have escaped the worst of the spice crime, with just five offences in each of 2017 and 2018.

Spice, a synthetic cannabinoid, is a new drug that has risen in popularity in the last few years, in part because it is relatively cheap and easy to obtain.

Young people impacted 

In 2019, nine students at schools across Rochdale, Oldham and Bury suffered health issues due to vaping spice after it had been mis-sold as cannabis, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Across Greater Manchester, under 24-year-olds have been successfully prosecuted nine times in 2017 and three times in 2018. Police decided in 10 cases in 2017 and four cases in 2018 that “formal action is not in the public interest” against young people, while 13 and 15 cases in 2017 and 2018 respectively were not investigated further because the police made a similar decision.

Greater Manchester Policed declined to comment on this story.

Why did students cover this story?

Shawn, 14, and Jemma, 17, from Oldham, said that they focused on this topic because they wanted “the people of Manchester to know we are watching them.”