Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Crimes reported in 2005


The following press extracts report upon a small selection of the ASBOs and crimes recorded this year. Re-Solv is currently working with Dr R Flanagan to produce a listing of all crimes reported in the UK press over the last 10 years.

A Middlesborough man was banned from every Asda store for cutting the pipes on fuel pumps and sniffing petrol at its filling stations. He was given a four year ASBO and was also banned from going within 50 feet of any filling station in Cleveland. Police believe he may be responsible for as many as 50 similar incidents in the last two years of sniffing fuel on garage forecourts. When he has cut the pipes some customers have been soaked in petrol. His actions were said by the police to be dangerous and a risk to safety.

A 10-year old boy from Leeds became one of the youngest people in the country to be given an ASBO. He was accused of burglary, glue sniffing, assaulting a seven year old and throwing a scooter at a bus packed with school children. The boy is banned from using public transport, using or threatening violence against a person, committing burglary or carrying or throwing an offensive weapon, from entering areas of the city and ordered to stay away from 17 other young people.

A 40 year old man was banned from the whole of Workington town centre for offences including begging, urinating in public, shouting, swearing, solvent abuse and indecent exposure. His solicitor said that after years of solvent abuse Starkey cannot fully understand the ban. Shortly afterwards he broke the ban to use the needle exchange facilities at Boots.

A court in Greenwich was told that a 37 year old alcoholic drug addict, fatally stabbed 22 year old man twice in the heart after a series of rows about the victims preference for sniffing butane gas.

A 27 year old man was accused of beating a gay man to death and setting fire to his Weymouth flat. The Jury heard that he is suffering from a severe personality disorder following his use of solvents and drugs.

A robber from Bridlington, West Yorkshire, was convicted after he snatched cash and tins of lighter fuel from newsagents, was high on lighter fuel. Masked and carrying a bale hook in his pocket the robber forced the shopkeeper open the till and demanded £20 notes and four cans of lighter fuel.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Re-Solv delivers VSA presentation at International Convention


Re-Solv’s National Youth Liaison Officer, Kay Carter, was chosen to speak at an international conference in Calgary in March 2005.

Kay’s specialism in delivering VSA prevention was selected from a significant amount of applications. Funding was provided by the conference organisers, The Canadian Youth Solvent Addiction Committee. Re-Solv is delighted to have this opportunity to once again highlight the charity’s work in the international field of solvent and volatile substance abuse.

A recent report from The Toronto Research Group on Drug Use (RGDU) highlighted that the potentially fatal practice of VSA was most popular among the youngest students surveyed. The report noted that the elevated levels of inhalant use locally mirrors trends reported in the USA where use is associated with teens being at home alone after school and having very low levels of risk awareness. Interestingly the problem of risk awa- reness regarding VSA has been drawn out of sessions Kay has conducted throughout the UK in recent years.

Kay’s presentation was so successful that Re-Solv has been invited to address future conferences as a keynote contributor.

Re-Solv is pleased that, once again, its presence and expertise in the international field of VSA has been and will continue to be highly regarded.

Solvent Abuse in Europe


ESPAD, The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs has released its report for surveys undertaken in 2003, in which it is revealed that inhalant use is 2% greater in the UK than in other European countries.

The survey reported that 12% of the UK sample had used volatile substances at some point in their life compared with an average of 10% throughout Europe. The report, the third survey to be undertaken, since 1995, has seen contributions rise to 35 countries with participation from over 100,000 students.

The highest prevalence of inhalants is reported in Greenland, where 22% had ever used them. Other countries with high levels of inhalant use include Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Isle of Man, Malta and Slovenia (15-19%).

Very small gender differences are found in relation to the use of inhalants. In a majority of the countries there are no gender differences, but in Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal and Ukraine more boys than girls reported this behaviour.

Girls only reported more use than boys in one country, Ireland.

Bitter taste may deter substance abusers


The following is a summary of a report on ABC News in Australia:

The National Inhalant Abuse Task Force, made up of Federal and State Government representatives, has commissioned CSIRO to undertake research looking at the effects of making products with a bitter taste.

Task force chief Paul McDonald says scientists are experimenting with adding "bittering" chemicals to petrol, glue, paint and lighter fuel.

"Basically these are bittering agents - there's a product, Bittrex, a highly bitter agent which can repel nasal, the need to or the desire to sniff products," he said "With the bittering agent it will repel that and it only takes a small bit to make the product bitter."

Dangerous Highs


Dangerous Highs, a joint report from the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and ChildLine, analyses over 350 calls made to ChildLine about VSA. For the callers to Childline volatile substances are not used simply to get high, often there are severe traumas as well as emotional and mental health problems that go unsupported.

Dangerous Highs costs £11.95 and is available from NCB Book Sales on 020 7843 6029 or via