Drug use increasing

Children using drugs in Exmouth is on the increase, the police have revealed.

Children using drugs in Exmouth is on the increase, the police have revealed.

Officers at Exmouth say children as young as 14 are turning to cannabis, believing its use to be ‘cool’.

The escalating problem was highlighted after police stepped up stop checks on youngsters.

Now officers have recognised the town’s youth are increasingly turning to cannabis - believing it to be as accessible as alco-pops - they have vowed to clamp down on those in Exmouth who are supplying.

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They are appealing to residents to shop anyone dealing the drug – saying any information received will be acted on.

The police revealed how officers recently targeted specific areas in Exmouth in a bid to catch the culprits and protect children.

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Officers said children had been found in possession of the drug after school in Manor Gardens and the subway beneath Marine Way.

Exmouth neighbourhood beat team leader Sergeant Nick Southern said: “A lot of cannabis offences involve children. We know about the increase because of the number of stop checks we are doing and finding kids with it on them.

“We have known about the problem for some time, but the lack of intelligence meant we didn’t have the powers to do anything.

“We know where drug dealers are dealing and we are stepping up the ‘anti’.”

Sgt Southern said youngsters using cannabis were unaware its strength had increased over the years.

“Cannabis is much stronger than 30 or 40 years ago,” said Sgt Southern.

“It’s not just police noticing the problem - schools have noticed it, with school work becoming affected.

“The kids think using it is cool. We want to get the message across that it’s a health hazard. It’s against the law - and it will mess with their mind.”

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