POLICE believe a batch of drugs, possibly heroin, may be the cause of a number of car crashes in the Selby area.

Five people were arrested this week on suspicion of driving while unfit through drugs, following crashes around Selby, and a police spokesman said a batch of drugs, possibly heroin, may be in circulation which is stronger than normal.

Officers are working with addiction charity Compass to warn users about the new batch of drugs, and are contacting known drug users to check on their welfare and offer them advice.

Inspector Michelle Falkingham, of Selby Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We have been working with local partners and making contact with local drug users to raise awareness that there may be a strong batch of drugs in circulation. At the moment we are not certain what the drugs are but there is a possibility that it is heroin.

“I would urge people who know someone who is a drug user to check on them and make them aware of this potentially strong batch of drugs. I would also like to thank members of public in the Selby District for reporting the collisions to the police, which has alerted us to this issue. I am also appealing to anyone with information about the drugs, where they are coming from and who is using them."

The crashes all took place on Monday, the first in Charles Street at 11.55am, when a car hit parked cars and a road sign. The 46-year-old driver was arrested at the scene.

A 33-year-old man was arrested after a car came off the road in Bondgate at about 5.50pm, and the next crash was in New Millgate at 7.30pm, when a car drove into a lamp post. A police spokesman said a 40-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman were arrested, as it was not clear on arrival who was driving.

A 34-year-old woman was arrested after officers stopped a car which was swerving in Bawtry Road at 7.40pm. All five people have since been released on bail.

On Monday, officers carried out a search of a property in Selby on Monday under the Misuse of Drugs Act, and a spokesman said enquiries were ongoing to find out who is supplying the drugs.

Anyone with information which could help with the investigation should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.