Chief Inspector Padwell has an incredibly tough job on his hands.
His role heading up neighbourhood policing for our city centre means it’s his job to find a way to tackle the rising use of Spice in Leeds, and all the associated problems that go with it.
And he knows that problem is growing.
“In common with many other parts of the country, we have seen a visible increase in the number of incidents relating to the use of the drug in the city centre,” the senior police officer says.
This is not just a problem for the police to handle though, which is presumably why Chief Inspector Padwell also chairs a multi-agency group on the issue.
That might sound a little wishy-washy and touchy-feely to tackle what is, let’s face it, very visible drug selling and using on main shopping streets in our city, in the daytime, coupled with a range of anti-social behaviours. It’s also quite costly - £42,000 every time a paramedic is called out to treat someone ill on Spice for example, not to mention police time and the hidden costs of thefts from shops or lost business.
But locking people up is not the answer either - prisons are facing a desperate battle against Spice in jail as tomorrow’s articles will show.
As Chief Inspector Padwell says: “The aim is to educate them about the dangers and steer them away from regular use, but those who fail to attend the appointments will face prosecution.” Couple supporting the users with prosecuting hard the dealers has to be the start. Ignoring it is certainly not an option.