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Excuse Me, While I Collar These Cannabis Kids

Morpeth Today, 23rd July 2006

A VILLAGE policeman had to break off a speech to the local Parish Council about youth disorder to collar a group of teenagers carrying what appeared to be cannabis plants along the street outside.

P.C. Jon Gray was briefing Ponteland Parish members with the monthly crime round-up when flabbergasted councillors interrupted him to deal with an apparent offence unfolding before their eyes.

P.C. Gray dashed from the meeting room at the Verger's Cottage, Merton Way, and grabbed the youths, confiscating what appeared to be pots of marijuana.

The officer sent them on their way and returned to finish his talk, carrying the plants under his arms.

"We have to be realistic about crime, and we really don't have it that bad in Ponteland," he told the meeting.

"Trouble will happen everywhere, but you tell me what the answer is.

"These youngsters are known to us — all but one of them have been in custody. They've been drinking and taking a bit of cannabis.

"We have to accept the fact that crime in this area is low compared to other areas, even in Castle Morpeth. Places like Hadston and even Morpeth have it much worse."

The teenagers involved were later interviewed by the Police.

After the meeting, Ponteland Parish Council Chairman Frank Harrington, said: "We really couldn't believe it.

"P.C. Gray recognised the kids who had what we believe to be cannabis plants. He thinks that somebody is growing them in a nursery somewhere and selling them to local youngsters."

A spokesman for Northumbria Police confirmed that suspect plants were confiscated and were now undergoing narcotics tests.

He said: "Plants were recovered and inquiries are ongoing to establish what they are.

"Two local youths have been interviewed. Premises have also been searched and inquiries are continuing."

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