Drug deaths: four more arrests

DERBYSHIRE police have made four further arrests in connection with the deaths of a Buxton man and a Chapel-en-le-Frith woman just before Christmas.

Police said Dale Yates, 18, and Charlotte Woodiwiss, 20, were suspected of having taken the drug Ecstasy shortly before their deaths.

Fifteen arrests have now been made in connection with the investigation. A 21-year-old man, a 33-year-old man, an 18-year-old man and a 27-year-old man, all from the High Peak, were arrested yesterday (Wednesday) in connection with the suspected supply of a class-A drug.

The 11 people who were previously arrested have been released on police bail pending further investigations.

Detective Inspector Shaun McElheron, of Buxton CID, said: “There have been several other reported deaths in the North West in the last few weeks after the alleged taking of Ecstasy in pill format, and there has been much media speculation around this.

“To date we have not linked these deaths but as in all these cases police forces do compare forensic analysis.

“The police advice, which is supported by the drugs support networks, has always been that all illegal drugs can be dangerous and a buyer can never be certain as to exactly what they are taking.

“Our analysis of recovered drugs usually identifies a variety of compounds, most of which drug users would not take if they knew what was in them.

“A user cannot be sure of the strength of illegal drugs and when mixed with alcohol it can form a highly toxic combination.

“If anyone begins to feel unwell after taking illegal drugs they must seek medical attention at the earliest opportunity. Failing to do so could prove fatal.

“Derbyshire police have a long standing agreement with the ambulance service that if they are called to a suspected drugs overdose or a person feeling unwell after taking drugs that it will be treated as a medical emergency and the police are not contacted.

“We are aware from discussion with youngsters in the area that this is not always believed, but we would like to assure users that we will not intervene in any medical treatment. Our priority is saving lives. This must take precedence over investigating a crime.”

Anyone with information on drugs should call Derbyshire police on 101.