Devon police arrest four after death and 'bad batch' heroin alert

People in Barnstaple were among those taken to hospital [BBC]

A man has died after a "bad batch of heroin" was believed to be circulating in north Devon.

Devon and Cornwall Police said four people were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the supply of a controlled substance.

Police declared a major incident on Friday and said a batch of the Class A drug was "making people very ill".

Eight people across Barnstaple, Bideford and Westward Ho! were taken to hospital, the force said.

It said a man, who received medical treatment at one scene, died after he took a "substance".

The major incident was stood down on Saturday morning, the force said.

'Significant concern for welfare'

Two men and two women were arrested and remain in police custody.

Devon and Cornwall Police said it was believed to have been an "unusually strong batch" of heroin.

It said there was a "significant concern for welfare".

Posting on social media on Friday night, Insp Dave Thubron said the incident was "incredibly serious".

Mr Thubron said: "I am looking at deploying multiple resources to this and would plead with anyone who has possession of any this substance to take note of the danger."

On Saturday, North and West Devon local policing area commander Superintendent Toby Davies said it was believed the incident was "contained".

"We continue to work with health partners to warn those who may be substance users to exercise extreme caution," he said.

The College of Policing describes a major incident as an "event or situation requiring a response under one or more of the emergency services" that "will usually include involving large numbers of people, either directly or indirectly".

Follow BBC Devon on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook and Instagram. Send your story ideas to