Drugs specialists from West Yorkshire Police have visited a number of shops and other premises across the county today as part of an ongoing campaign to target the dangers of so-called ‘legal highs’.
The move follows the recent reclassification of some of these psychoactive substances that mimic the effects of controlled drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamine and cannabis.
On Wednesday, January 7, 2015, the Government amended the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and controlled synthetic opioids which are LSD-related compounds and Tryptamines, including compounds commonly known as AMT and 5-MeO-DALT, are now Class A drugs.
Officers attended at 12 premises in Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield this morning (Jan 10).
No arrests were made but 155 packets of what are now Class A drugs were seized and staff at the premises were informed and advised of the new legislation.
Today’s activity was part of Operation Nightshot, which was launched in Leeds in December 2012, and has seen a number of landmark prosecutions and other enforcement action against high street ‘head shops’ that sell the substances.
Detective Constable Jamie Hudson, who co-ordinates the operation, said: “Within days of these substances being made illegal we have attended at shops known to sell these kind of items and ensured that any products potentially containing these banned chemicals have been removed from sale with the public’s protection in mind.
“There is a misconception that products being sold as ‘legal highs’ are therefore safe when in fact they can be extremely dangerous with the chemicals that have just been classified as Class A drugs being linked to a number of deaths elsewhere in the country.
“Anyone who trades in psychoactive substances or paraphernalia associated with drug use or supply should be aware that it is their responsibility to keep up to date with any changes in legislation. Ignorance is not a defence and we will take action where it is suspected that criminal offences are being committed.”
More information about new psychoactive substances and their dangers is available on the West Yorkshire Police website atwww.westyorkshire.police.uk/legalhighs.
Anyone who wants information, help and advice about drugs can contact confidential helpline service FRANK, by calling 0800 77 66 00, texting 82111, or visiting www.talktofrank.com