A CALL has been made for tougher action against the drug known as Spice.

John Campion, police and crime commissioner for West Mercia, has joined other PCCs in calling for the drug to be reclassified as a Class A substance because of the devastating it can have.

He said: "I welcome the government's approach to tackling illegal substance misuse, however there is more to be done around this specific emerging issue.

"I pledge to contribute as commissioner through grant funding and by ensuring our local police force have the resources to deal with the changing picture."

In a letter to the Home Office, Mr Campion is one of 20 PCCs raising the issue of synthetic cannabinoid products, which have emerged on the drugs market within recent years and can have incapacitating and unpredictable psychoactive effects on users.

The substances have been linked to 27 deaths in 2016 - according to ONS figures - and are creating extra demand for policing and other public services.

In West Mercia, the commissioner has provided grant funding for drug addiction services including Shropshire Recovery Partnership, Addaction in Herefordshire and Shropshire, as well as Telford STaRS.

Mr Campion added “This issue needs an effective and consistent approach, with involvement from all agencies including public health, mental health and addiction services.

"Together we can work to tackle the root of this complex issue in order to reduce demand on public services, and the issues associated with psychoactive substances in our communities."