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The supply & use of 'mamba' in Mansfield

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Date: 
February 2019

'Mamba' is a synthetic cannabinoid that mimic the effects of the main active compound in cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).   They are illegal and are classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Many lifelong cannabis users are fearful of 'mamba' due to its very dangerous side effects.  Deaths related to its use are not uncommon and many users then exhibit frightening, 'zombie like behaviour' in the middle of our town centre.  This is very frightening for children to witness in particular and often results in our Ambulance Service being called to assist placing even further pressures upon them.

The Police are also required to be present whilst 'mamba' users are treated as they often become erratic or violent.

Treatment, support and recovery is the key to solving this problem which effects nearly all places within the UK.

Mansfield has some of the best support services available and we now have dedicated outreach workers, drug and alcohol workers and even a specialist mental health nurse. Many of the services work alongside us at the Partnership Hub based within Mansfield District Council on Chesterfield Road. We work to support the users out of addiction and into happy, stable and productive lives on a daily basis.

Just because a person refuses help today, doesn’t mean they won't want help tomorrow. However, some of the users in town centre have also become abusive and even violent so as the Police we need to take positive action to deal with these perpetrators.

Since the summer we have arrested over 50 perpetrators in the town centre for a variety of offences ranging from repeatedly urinating in doorways of restaurants to serious assaults involving weapons.

For the people who won't change their behaviour we follow up prosecutions with Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs). Many of these orders actual ban certain people from entering the town centre. On the rare occasion these orders are breached we arrest the perpetrators and place them before the court. Repeat offenders often end up spending several months in prison where further rehabilitation work can take place.

We have visited several other areas to make sure we learn lessons and adopt our approach quickly if we hear of something that is working.

At the moment, Mansfield is seen as an area which is leading the way and the College of Policing for England and Wales is actually directing other Police Forces to Nottinghamshire to learn from our ground-breaking approach.

The town centre now has a dedicated team led by Sgt Peatfield.  The team consists of six Police Officers and 4 PCSOs which will increase to six soon. We also have a number of Special Constables working with us.

Dedicated Mansfield District Council Neighbourhood Wardens also patrol the town on a daily basis and we all work from the same Hub, on the same radio system and have joint briefings.

November 2018

Between 1st June and 17th Oct 2018 Operation Prolate has resulted in the following results:

  • 75 arrests / persons reported for summons or other detection.
  • 51 Directions to Leave the Town Centre under the ASB Act 2014
  • 13 Stop Searches
  • 2 Town Centre Drugs Warrants to cut off the supply
  • 9 Criminal Behaviour Orders applied for banning repeat offenders from entering the town centre.
  • Significant Engagement and reassurance to visitors and businesses by conducting intelligence led high visibility patrols.
  • Feedback was requested from Market traders working on the 16th November with several expressing that there was a real positive difference in the town centre.
  • Officers working the Night Time Economy have continued to conduct Operation Prolate as part of early intervention preventing begging in the town centre and drug related offences/ASB.
  • Some excellent Policing and Partnership working around the Christmas light switch on resulted in a very busy yet enjoyable and fun day for visitors to the town centre.

Nottinghamshire Police and partners are collectively looking to:

  • Further develop and act on intelligence around production and supply of mamba
  • Target people intent on taking drugs and committing ASB
  • Continue to support and refer those willing to engage to services
  • Education in schools
  • Improve information sharing with local businesses
  • Promote Mansfield Town Centre as a drug free zone “Business watch Campaign”
  • Commence a diverted Giving Campaign

December 2018 update:

Between the 6th
December and 24th December 2018 additional resources have been drafted into the
town centre both day and night to provide community engagement and reassurance.
Officers continued to help and support individuals rough sleeping, making
appropriate referrals to services whilst taking positive action regarding
antisocial behaviour.

Recent weeks
have seen policing in the town centre and we have received positive feedback
from both businesses and members of the public whilst on patrol

Several people
were arrested for breaching their Criminal Behaviour Orders banning them from
the town centre.

Between 1st June and 12th Dec 2018 Operation PROLATE
has resulted in the following results:

91        Arrests / persons reported
for summons or other detection

64        Directions to Leave the
Town Centre under S34 ASB Act. (This power is being utilised when proportionate
and necessary and is proving to be a very effective tactic).

13        Stop Searches

3          Drugs
Warrants executed with one taking place in the town centre

10        New Criminal
Behaviour Order Applications

February 2019

Between 1st June 2018 and 28th February 2019 Operation
PROLATE has resulted in the following Police results:

136
           Arrests / persons
reported for summons or other detection

91
            
Directions to Leave the Town Centre under S34 ASB Act 2014

3               
Drugs Warrants with a further 3 in development

13         
    Criminal Behaviour Orders – with a further 2 being developed

In
addition, our Partners have issued over 150 “Directions to Leave”, arranged
accommodation for 14 people and referred a further 14 people to drug and
alcohol support.  12 referrals have been
made to mental health services.

Significant
engagement and reassurance with visitors and businesses continues by conducting
intelligence led high visibility patrols.

Police
and Framework continue with joint outreach patrols where we are able to engage
with and assess any rough sleepers.

As
a result of the team’s dedication and hard work positive feedback continues to
be received from members of the public and businesses.

The
Town Centre Manager conducted a survey with 33 market traders and 32 provided
positive feedback around the difference that has been made in the town centre.

Going
forward Nottinghamshire Police and partners will continue to:

  • Further
    develop and act on intelligence, executing drugs warrants to disrupt
    production and supply of mamba
  • Target
    people’s intent on taking drugs and committing ASB.
  • Completing
    Criminal Behaviour Order applications where evidence allows to ban
    persistent offenders from the town centre.
  • Develop
    a partnership pro-active response in readiness for the warmer months
  • Continue
    to support and refer those willing to engage to services
  • Develop
    Education within Schools regarding the dangers of Mamba
  • Improve
    information sharing with local businesses
  • Promote
    Mansfield Town Centre as a drug free zone and launch a “Business Watch
    Campaign”
  • Continue
    to disrupt begging and provide education around the diverted Giving
    Campaign
  • Implement
    a code of practice within Soup kitchens as part of the Public Space
    Protection Order