Warnings given to suppliers and users of legal highs

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West Yorkshire Police is renewing its message to shop owners and businesses selling ‘legal highs’, that they could face prosecution if they’re found to be selling illgeal substances.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and forces across the UK are this week (w/c Monday, 25 November) raising awareness, and are identifying and targeting suppliers across the country.

Many shops which sell these products - which are known as ‘head shops’ - sell cannabis seeds, books on how to grow synthetic drugs, and growing equipment, amongst other things. They also sell other drugs which are not controlled by current legislation.

These ‘new psychoactive substances’ (NPS) have become known as ‘legal highs’, as it is not illegal to own them.

Officers from West Yorkshire Police have already carried out a number of investigations into NPS, and several arrests have been made for involvement with illegal substances.

This week will also highlight the need for a multi-agency approach to address any problems relating to NPS and their supply. West Yorkshire Police is actively involved in working with partner agencies such as Public Health and Education bodies, as well as Trading Standards and Local Authorities - not only to prosecute, but also to get the message out.

Bryan Dent, West Yorkshire Police’s Force Drug Co-ordinator said: “We believe working together with our partners is the best approach to take, to tackle this issue.

“The bedrock of our approach is to make West Yorkshire a safer place and to make people feel safer.

“If that means we have to carry out more investigations into NPS and make more prosecutions, we will do so.”

Toni Williams, Specialty Registrar in Public Health said: “Young people are gambling with their health by taking legal highs. Just because these substances are legal does not mean that they are safe.

“We are increasingly concerned because very little is being done about the short and long term health effects of legal highs.”

For help and information about legal highs, and any other drugs, visit www.talktofrank.com or call free on 0300 123 6600.