POLICE in Malmesbury are stepping up their fight against illegal drug use in one of the town’s car parks, in a bid to prevent the problem escalating.

The crackdown comes after an incident on May 9 when two male teenagers were stopped in the High Street.

A Malmesbury police spokeswoman said both individuals ran away and were chased by officers, with one being caught and found to be in possession of ketamine - a powerful tranquiliser.

The seizure was the second ketamine-related incident in the town in as many months after a man was arrested in Station Road car park on March 23 and summoned to court for possession of the Class B drug.

The police spokeswoman said: “We are actively trying to disrupt drug dealing in Station Road car park by implementing regular patrols and undertaking stop and searches and we are encouraging the public to give more information on drug dealing in Malmesbury.

“It’s mainly cannabis but there are other drugs that we know of being used including MDMA and ketamine.

"It’s becoming an issue, we’ve always had problems in Station Road car park but now it seems to be increasing.

“We are asking people to give us information and make us aware of where and when it’s going on.

“Too many people turn a blind eye and the problem now is that the people using these drugs are so young.

“They are getting hold of it but they don’t know the dangers.”

Ketamine became a Class B controlled drug in June 2014 and possession of it could lead to a maximum jail term of five years, while supplying the drug could lead to 14 years in prison.

The police spokeswoman added: “If you have any information or concerns about the supply of illegal drugs in Malmesbury then Wiltshire police will welcome any input.

"Anonymous reports can be made by calling 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111”.