Police battling Spice epidemic in Manchester city centre

Spice can leave people in a zombie-like state Credit: Manchester Evening News syndication

Police in Manchester battling an epidemic of Spice drug use dealt with 31 calls in just 24 hours on Saturday.

Use of the drug in the city centre has left scores of users rendered like "zombies" and passing out.

Greater Manchester Police have launched special patrols, making scores of arrests with a 48-hour banning order imposed on the city centre to remove anyone suspected of taking or supplying the drug.

Most of the incidents are centred on the Piccadilly area of the city centre.

Fourteen of the calls in the last 24 hours have been about people who have collapsed.

Effects of the drug can be extreme, causing hallucinations, psychosis, muscle weakness and paranoia.

A ban on the supply and production, but not the possession, of Spice, came into force in May last year.

Manchester City Council is planning to ask the government for help with tackling the problem: