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Fact File: What is synthetic cannabis?

Lancaster University has issued a warning about taking synthetic cannabis after five students ended up in hospital.

Synthetic cannabis, know as Spice, is among a number of "legal" highs made illegal in 2009.

Synthetic cannabis known as Spice is now a banned substance Credit: Press Association

Smoking spice gives the user a similar experience to smoking cannabis and can lead to feelings of relaxation or euphoria.

According to Frank, the drug advice service other less pleasant effects may include an elevated heart rate, sickness and hallucinations.

Synthetic cannabinoids were classified alongside cannabis as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

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Lancaster University statement after students hospitalised

Shortly after 6.30pm yesterday evening police were called to campus following reports that five students had been admitted into Royal Lancaster Infirmary after taking an unknown substance.

The University issued a warning to students. Due to the serious conditions of the students and the fact the substance could not be confirmed as legal, officers attended the university to carry out a search of the students’ rooms.

Two of the students remain in hospital, and three students have since been discharged.

Enquiries are on-going to identify the exact nature of the substance.

– Lancaster university

Lancaster hospital ward closes after norovirus outbreak

A hospital ward at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary has been closed to admissions after a norovirus outbreak.

The hospital said some patients on Ward 32 were suffering with diarrhoea and vomiting as a result.

Royal Lancaster Infirmary Credit: Press Association

“Diarrhoea and vomiting can be spread through contact with an infected person, by contact with contaminated surfaces or by consuming contaminated food or water.

“We hope by taking the measure to close the ward to admissions we can resolve this outbreak quickly – however we apologise for any disruptions caused to patients or visitors during this time.”

– Angela Richards, Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust


Search to resume for missing windsurfer

A huge search operation will resume this morning for a windsurfer who disappeared near Lancaster.

Police were called to Glasson dock yesterday afternoon to reports a man in his 50's had gone out with a group of friends but not returned. A number of lifeboats searched in foggy conditions until around 2am this morning.

Glasson Dock

The lifeboat, mountain rescue and a police helicopter will carry on the search from 8am this morning.

Concerns grow for missing teenager Aimee

Aimee Challenger, 15, is missing from home. Credit: Lancashire Police.

Concerns are growing for a 15-year-old girl missing from home in Lancaster.

Aimee Challenger was last seen by a relative on Saturday at home on Victoria Place.

She has left the house to see friends and has not been seen or heard from since.

It is believed that she could be in the Blackpool area.

“We are very concerned about the welfare of Aimee and urge her, or anyone who has seen her to contact us as soon as possible.”

– PC Michelle Flood, Lancashire Police

Aimee is described as white, 5ft 5ins, slim build with shoulder length dark brown hair.

She was last seen wearing a white vest, black leggings, black pumps, a black leather jacket and a brown satchel.

Anybody with any information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Cop who stopped knife attack nominated for bravery award

PC Dave Pinnington

A Lancashire police officer who stepped in to stop a knife attack has been nominated for a bravery award.

Last September PC Dave Pinnington, saved a young Lancaster University student who'd been locked in her bedroom by her ex-boyfriend who was threatening to stab her. When the officer arrived he broke down the door to find the man knifing the woman. PC Pinnington dragged the offender off the victim, disarmed him and managed to retrain him until back up arrived.

The victim sustained serious injuries to her arm and neck but survived the attack. The offender, Gary Davies was sentenced to 8 years behind bars.

PC Pinnington has already received a Chief Constable’s commendation and was awarded the William Garnett Cup 2014, given to the police officer deemed to have performed the most gallant deed of the year.

PC Dave Pinnington said: “This incident highlights the dangers posed to victims of domestic violence and also the unpredictability of situations that police officers attend.”

Chief Constable Steve Finnigan said: “The swift, selfless and extremely brave response exhibited by PC Dave Pinnington to the report of an on-going serious domestic assault where a young woman was being subjected to a vicious knife attack, without doubt saved her life.”

The police bravery awards will take place in London next week.

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