A STAGGERING 60 out of 79 arrests in South Yorkshire linked to the drug mephedrone over the past year have been in Barnsley.
But top cop Alex Hughes – who heads the borough’s drugs team – told the Times this was GOOD!
For Det Insp Hughes says the figure is down to the work of his dedicated drugs unit... NOT greater use of the illegal “clubbing drug” – also known as M-Cat or meow-meow.
Mephedrone was declared illicit a year ago. But Mr Hughes says it is still around – though dearer, with prices rising from £14 to £20-£25 a gram.
In May last year, the drug was blamed for three Wombwell schoolgirls being rushed to hospital.
And M-Cat has been linked nationally to several teen deaths.
It is now categorised as a Class B drug, that is known to cause hallucinations, blood circulation problems, rashes, paranoia, and fits.
Mr Hughes said: “It’s a synthetic drug that became widely available over the Internet, and is now the fourth most popular after cannabis, cocaine and heroin.
“There has always been a lot of ketamine abuse around Barnsley. Yet Class A figures show we have far fewer incidences of cocaine and heroin than other areas.
“It’s a fact that drug abusers start with a low-class drug and move on to others.
“Pushing them onto the black market doesn’t get rid of them and can create new problems, but we will stay pro-active.”
Drug-dog operations across the Dearne recently have uncovered punters with M-Cat, and publicans have been warned to kick out drug dealers, or run the risk of losing their licences.