Forfar says no to legal highs

Pictured (from left) are campaigners Bobbi Murray, Adele Douglas Speirs and Nikki Leathley, with Caiden Davidson.
Pictured (from left) are campaigners Bobbi Murray, Adele Douglas Speirs and Nikki Leathley, with Caiden Davidson.

Forfar residents are rallying to a campaign to prevent the sale of so-called legal highs in the town.

The Facebook campaign Forfar Against Legal High Shop opening, set up at the weekend by local youth worker Adele Douglas Speirs (pictured centre), is gaining rapid support with more than 500 members.

An online petition, begun by her friend Bobbi Murray (left), has also attracted more than 1,000 signatures since Sunday. They and Nikki Leathley (right) were prompted to take action as word spread that a shop selling New Psychoactive Substances, is to open in North Street. Its location near a nightclub, two pubs, the courthouse and residential properties on a busy route used by pupils walking to and from Forfar Academy has caused alarm among residents and the campaign has also received backing from local councillors.

Police Scotland have also appealed for the business owners to think again.

Chief Inspector Gordon Milne, area commander for Angus, said: “I’m absolutely convinced that NPS pose a significant health issue and the last thing I want to see is another retail outlet on the streets of Angus.

“I do appreciate that selling NPS in any form is currently not illegal, however I would appeal to the people involved not to go down this route because of the well-documented health issues.”

An Angus Council spokeswoman also said the local authority is aware of the concern in local communities about the issue which is being addressed by the Angus Alcohol and Drug Partnership. It is also now dealt with in all of the county’s secondary schools.

She said: “All young people in our secondary schools experience a Personal and Social Education (PSE) programme. The topic of legal highs is embedded in the PSE curriculum and they are also exploring alternative education methods such as drama workshops. If you are worried about the effect of NPS on you or a member of your family, contact the Web Project on 01307 460101, or the Angus alcohol & drugs team on 01241 435821. Information is also available at www.facebook.com/focusonalcohol, or Twitter @focusonalcohol and at www.mycrew.org.uk”