Police shut down social media drug dealers' Instagram pages over sales of 'shatter cannabis'

A team of officers tasked with tackling the drug trade have revealed they are busy following those who buy and sell via social media.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 1:36 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th October 2019, 6:05 pm
Northumbria Police has warned it is keeping a watch on Instagram as the social media app and others are used to buy and sell drugs.

Northumbria Police has warned people should be careful what people selling and buying online as its officers are watching.

It comes as the force reveals it has shut down a series of Instagram pages advertising cannabis, including some selling its potent form known as ‘shatter.’

One account was offering customers recorded delivery with their purchase of Diamond Sauce Shatter – an extremely strong paste form of the product.

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A photo shared by Northumbria Police showing examples of cannabis in its shatter and paste forms.

Although shatter is not widely used here in the UK, detectives are working hard to ensure it stays off the region’s streets and those looking to sell it using online platforms are quickly targeted.

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Cairns, from Northumbria Police’s Priority and Organised Crime team, warned social media users that platforms and accounts were being monitored.

He said: “Let me make it very clear, buying and selling illicit substances online is a serious criminal offence which could ultimately land you behind bars.

Northumbria Police has said it using social media to track down those who buy and sell drugs.

“Social media is an excellent tool for people to stay connected, but sadly, there are individuals who exploit this and use it to further their criminal activity.

“Don’t be naive enough to think that the law does not apply or won’t catch up with you because you’re using an online platform.

“We know the majority of organised criminal groups involved in cannabis supply use the proceeds to fund other illicit activities, such as human trafficking, and so we would ask people to think about the bigger picture when they see these kinds of posts.”

He also reinforced the dangers of products such as shatter, which is stronger than normal cannabis, with its production involving highly flammable butane gas to strip the chemicals, causing an additional risk to those involved in making it.

Information about the supply of drugs can police by calling 101, reported online at the Northumbria Police website or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.