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Vapes and £20,000 in cash seized by police's dedicated drugs team in Middlesbrough

Crime and safety

Friday, 07 June 2024
A young person using a vape

More than £20,000 in cash and illicit vapes have been seized by police in Middlesbrough.

Officers from Cleveland Police’s Dedicated Drugs and County Lines Team conducted intelligence-led searches on Wednesday, June 6.

A 19-year-old man was arrested at an address on Granville Road and later charged with being concerned in the supply of class B drugs and possession of criminal property.

Two more men aged 19 and 20 were also arrested when a property on Clive Road was searched.

The 19-year-old man was later charged with being concerned in the supply of a class B drug and the 20-year-old man charged with possession with intent to supply a class B drug.

The force has already been working closely with public health following other incidents where vapes have been found to contain Spice. Letters from Public Health were circulated to parents of pupils at schools in Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland just a few weeks ago, explaining the dangers.

Inhaling Spice through a vaping pen is extremely dangerous for young people and can lead to health problems such as breathing difficulties, chest pain, heart palpitations, seizures, extreme anxiety, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, psychosis, vomiting or diarrhoea and acute kidney injury.

In some cases, a single dose can kill.

Serious Violence, GRIP & Drugs Chief Inspector Nick See said: “Potentially dangerous vapes have become a serious concern for us over the last few months, with the Dedicated Drugs and County Lines Team working to investigate the origin of these vapes.

“We know that they are being sold to young people via social media, and these are then being taken into schools.

“Not only is this a health issue, but those possessing and supplying illegal drugs are committing criminal offences. We are working closely with local schools and partners to share information and intelligence.

“I would also urge parents, guardians and anyone with information they may have about those supplying these vapes to contact us with information.”

Director of Public Health for South Tees, Mark Adams, said: “Our immediate advice to parents and carers is make sure you know how to spot an illicit vape.

“They often look similar to regulated devices, but a tell-tale sign that they’re not safe or legal is that they will usually contain more than 600 puffs or more than 2ml of vaping liquid.

“We simply do not know what these devices are being filled with, and neither does your child.

“But we do know that inhaling Spice through a vape is extremely dangerous.

“This is not just a local problem, but it’s important we urgently warn families in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland about the dangers."

Anyone with information about the supply or use of these illegal vapes should contact Cleveland Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling 0800 555 111.