By Hugh Dunnett, Crime Correspondent
Gangs of elderly residents are taking legal highs and running riot in Suffolk.
Police were called out to Debenham on Monday night after locals complained of raucous behaviour and loud music playing into the early hours.
A student living next door to the Purple Haze Care Home said: “It was 1am and we were trying to study for exams – but we couldn’t concentrate over the noise of old war songs.
“When we knocked on the door politely we were sworn at and someone threw false teeth at us.”
Another neighbour was threatened with knitting needles and told to respect their elders – or else.
Meanwhile, horrified onlookers reported one OAP downing a whole bag of legal high, washed down with a nice cuppa screaming: “We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when.”
Reports of elderly dealers flogging legal highs in bingo halls and cafes have increased by a whopping 67%.
They are legal substances said to ‘lift the spirits’, although doctors warn they are not properly regulated, have not been tested and could be harmful to health.
Locals live in fear of one particular elderly resident gang in Debenham, who go by the street names of The Blue Rinsers, or Silver Haired Aged Gang.
One 86-year-old lady, known only as Doreen, told us: “Bowls simply isn’t a fun game without a little pick-me-up.
“It only costs a little money that would only have been wasted on bingo. Now it’s us that’s wasted – and I feel like I’m 75 again.”
Another resident, Eric, 89, said: “I’ve just had my hip replaced and now I can fly.” He then jumped out of a first-floor window and is now recovering in Ipswich Hospital.
Police have been asked NOT to stick to their new policy of shooting to kill any criminal suspects to save money. And some kind-hearted locals say the elderly gangs are just having some deserved fun and should be left in peace.
Certainly police in Debenham are playing the issue with a softly-softly attitude. Police Officer Dibble also said a charity had been set up to help cope with pensioners having legal high issues.
He said: “If you or a relative has been affected by elderly legal high taking, contact the charity Oh Danny Boy at the day care centre in the High Street.”