Minister briefed on legal highs risk

Paul Wheelhouse (centre) is pictured with Chief Superintendent Eddie Smith, Divisional Commander for Tayside (left) and Chief Inspector Gordon Milne Angus area commander for Angus during his visit to Angus police HQ in Forfar.
Paul Wheelhouse (centre) is pictured with Chief Superintendent Eddie Smith, Divisional Commander for Tayside (left) and Chief Inspector Gordon Milne Angus area commander for Angus during his visit to Angus police HQ in Forfar.

Scottish minister Paul Wheelhouse has praised police in Angus for the work they are doing to tackle the problem of ‘legal highs’ in the county.

During a recent visit to Angus police HQ Mr Wheelhouse, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, said he is “greatly encouraged” by the proactive, multi-agency approach to disrupt the sales of new psychoactive substances (NPS), which he said is a priority for the Scottish Government.

Mr Wheelhouse was in Angus on a fact-finding trip to hear about the approach being taken in the county to deal with a range of crime and public safety issues.

And officers pulled no punches during their briefing on how much of a risk NPS can pose to users.

Sergeant Grace Morrison said: “Of 108 recorded offences in Tayside related to NPS, 42 were in the Angus area.

“They differ very minutely from controlled drugs. Use can result in strokes, heart attacks and death. As well as physical conditions, acute mental health problems are associated with their use, but people think that because they’re legal, they’re fine.”

Sergeant Nicky Forrester also said the substances pose a “phenomenal” risk to young people when even hardened drug users found their effects difficult to deal with.