La Sainte Union drug-laced sweets: Police warn Camden parents batches of ‘Medicated Nerds’ could be circulating
- Credit: Archant
The affected children may be out of hospital, but days after an “alarming and concerning” morning saw ambulances line up outside La Sainte Union Catholic School, police have warned more batches of the cannabis-laced sweets responsible could be circulating in north London.
On Wednesday afternoon Scotland Yard warned parents and guardians to “be vigilant”. and said officers had written to schools and partners in Camden to raise awareness of the sweets in question.
A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: “Officers believe there could be more batches of sweets containing THC circulating and are urging the public to be careful.”
On Monday 13 pupils at La Sainte Union were taken to hospital after “eating what they thought were sweets”.
After the incident, parents received a letter from headteacher Sophie Fegan. Mrs Fegan referred to the ongoing police investigation into what happened, and said “a small number” of students became ill.
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She added: “As a precaution, all students suspected of having ingested the ‘sweets’ were taken to hospital and their parents were informed.”
The headteacher warned parents to “please talk to your daughter about not accepting sweets from strangers”.
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But one parent said this seemed a “red herring”. Other parents told this newspaper their children were aware a pupil had brought the sweets into school.
The school has not confirmed how many children were affected.
Pupils at LSU have been shown images of a counterfeit version of the branding and packaging for the sweets Nerds and told to beware accepting sweets whose origin they don’t know.
In a slide-show presented to children and seen by the Ham&High, pupils at LSU were told to “spot the dangers” of the counterfeit sweets – called Medicated Nerds Rope.
They were warned the sweets “contain extremely high and dangerous levels of cannabis” and that “eating one sweet is the equivalent of smoking six joints of ‘high-strength Skunk-type cannabis’ at once”.
The presentation warned the sweets were being sold over social media such as Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok.
Pupils at LSU were also told to “avoid spreading gossip and misinformation on social media”.
Elizabeth Kitcatt, head at Camden School for Girls, wrote to parents at her school on Wednesday morning relaying a message from local police and warning parents to watch out for Nerds.
She wrote: “We have alerted students to this matter and the dangers of consuming any such product. Do please let us know if you see or hear of these items being in circulation among students, and, of course, if your child has any of these take them away immediately.”
She reported the police having explained the symptoms experienced by pupils at LSU included “nausea, hyperactivity, elevated heart rates and hallucinations”. Officers told the school “the dose each sweet contained was potentially very high” and shared an image of the packaging of the suspect sweets.
Earlier this year, police in Bradford, West Yorkshire, seized “large amounts” of the THC-laced sweets in a raid which saw seven arrested.
Public Health England’s London head of alcohol, drugs and tobacco Alison Keating said: “We have been notified of a situation in Camden where a number of school pupils ingested Tetrahydrocannabinol or ‘THC’ which is the psychoactive element of cannabis that causes a high.
“It is an illegal drug and can be dangerous, so this situation is of concern.”
She said PHE was working with Camden Council, schools and the police to raise awareness of the risks of THC-laced sweets.
A spokesperson for LSU said: “Following the incident on Monday, all of the children have now left hospital and we were pleased to welcome back some of the students to classes on Tuesday.”
They said they were continuing to assist the police investigation.
Camden Council’s education chief Cllr Angela Mason said news of the pupils’ recovery was “welcome” and that the town hall was working closely with the school.
A Met Police spokesperson added: “Enquiries continue to establish the full circumstances. Officers believe that the sweets contained THC and await the outcome of tests to establish the quantity in each sweet.”
There have as yet been no arrests.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD3661/5Oct.