I have no doubt many of you living in cities will have encountered a spice head from time to time…. The smell is strong, not like cannabis but closer to a nail varnish style chemical, the spice user is either zombied out, still and almost asleep…but awake or they are high, energised and sometimes even aggressive. It is often sold in small bags, like cannabis but can be as cheap as £10 a bag.
Spice, a synthetic cannabis is often much cheaper than cannabis, easier to get hold of and so it is also rife in prisons. One of the challenges around this drug like many synthetic drugs is that the chemical make up of the drug can be changed and tweaked. This can make it difficult for sniffer dogs to detect.
In the last year over 100KG of illegal drugs were detected by drugs dogs across England and Wales and now the Government is issuing £300,000 in investment towards science so that enhanced training courses can be developed to help sniffer dogs pick up variants of spice.
This training and getting the drug dogs on the streets will not only help to cut crime and save lives but also help us keep our prisons clear of drugs as Spice has sadly been one of the drugs most frequently smuggled into prisons on paper, clothing and in powder forms.
Prisons Minister Lucy Frazer MP, said:
Spice drives violence, self-harm and crime behind bars so it’s crucial we prevent it getting into the hands of prisoners.
That’s why we’re investing millions in technology, sniffer dogs and training to cut smuggling and ensure prisons are places where people can turn their backs on crime.
The partnership between the Ministry of Justice and the Dstl will see scientists analysing the psychoactive substance as it changes, to determine the most effective and safest way to train dogs to sniff out new blends of Spice.
The sniffer dogs will then undergo training in scent recognition followed by an operational assessment before they are placed into a working role.
We wish the dogs well!