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Commissioner praises policing response after tragic drug deaths

Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner has praised police and partners for the way they have responded to the deaths of two people from a substance thought to be an ‘unusually strong’ batch of heroin.

Commissioner praises policing response after tragic drug deaths

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez

A man in his 30s from Westward Ho! died after taking the substance on Friday and a second man in his 40s, from South Molton, who had earlier been admitted to hospital, died late on Saturday – believed to be as a result of taking the same substance.

Emergency service partners declared a major incident, which has now been stood down, after 10 people were admitted to North Devon District Hospital for treatment after they also took the drug. 

Police issues a warning to drug users and those who know them. They arrested five people, who were released on police bail. Testing is taking place to understand what caused the reaction to the substance.

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “My thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their lives in this incident, and I would like thank the north Devon policing team whose prompt action may have saved others.

“This is a reminder to us all that no illegal drug is safe. This is why we must keep relentless pressure on those who seek to bring them to our region.

“Anyone who has information on drug dealing should pass that on to police so tragic incidents such as this can be avoided.”

Information can be passed to police, anonymously, by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via the website