[N]ew legislation that will put a ‘blanket ban’ on so-called legal highs will come into force tomorrow (May 26th).
The Psychoactive Substances Act will make it an offence to produce, supply, and import or export the drugs for human consumption.
It will change the way new psychoactive substances are tackled, with a range of criminal and civil sanctions including new powers for police, and tough sentences of up to 7 years for offenders.
Superintendent Rob O’Connor said: “Over the years we have seen issues with new psychoactive substances and I welcome this new legislation. We have seen deaths right across the UK as a result of people taking these drugs, and even one death is one too many.
“Sadly people are gambling with their lives when they take these substances – they do not know what is in them and they do not realise the consequences and health implications involved. When they have been classed as legal, I think that has made people think they are safe to use, but that is far from the truth.
“This new legislation will make a massive difference to how we police the issue. We are aware of shops across the county who are openly supplying and trading in these new psychoactive substances and this means that we have the powers to enter the premises, arrest, and put them before the courts.”
Officers have been given powers to stop and search people, vehicles and vessels, enter and search premises in accordance with a warrant, and to seize and destroy new psychoactive substances.
Anyone with information or who would like to report a crime should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.