Hundreds of legal highs taken out of circulation in Angus

Pic Greg Macvean - 03/09/2013 - Reporter Dan Sanderson with some of the legal highs he purchased today from the shop Apothecary
Pic Greg Macvean - 03/09/2013 - Reporter Dan Sanderson with some of the legal highs he purchased today from the shop Apothecary

Hundreds of so-called legal highs have been taken out of circulation following a joint operation by Angus Council Trading Standards officers and local police

Several visits by officers in recent days to the only remaining retailer of new psychoactive substances (NPS) in Angus have resulted in the voluntary removal from sale of 404 products and the seizure of an additional 200 products.

Combined they have a street value of approximately £6000.

The action was a part of Operation Alexander – a week-long co-ordinated enforcement campaign across Scotland.

It followed ever-increasing concerns about the harm that NPS products cause.

NPS products have been forensically proved to be unsafe and as such breach the requirements of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.

The sole retailer of NPS in Angus – with a shop in Montrose – has been left in no doubt that ‘legal highs’ are not legal and are unsafe.

Officers from Angus Council Trading Standards and Police Scotland warned them that claims on packets such as ‘not for human consumption’, ‘research chemical’, and ‘not for sale to under 18’s’, are meaningless and will not deflect any future enforcement action.

Gordon Robb, chairman of the Society of Chief Officers in Trading Standards Scotland, (SCOTSS) said: “Local authorities embraced this opportunity to implement co-ordinated action against the sellers of NPS throughout Scotland.

“The safety of consumers is our foremost consideration, and we welcome liaison with our partners such as Trading Standards Scotland, Police Scotland and the Scottish Government in the fight against this scourge on our local communities.

“We will continue to take robust enforcement action against the suppliers of unsafe products such as NPS as and when local intelligence determines the need and the constraints under which we operate make it possible.”

Angus Council communities convener, Councillor Donald Morrison said: “This latest operation by our trading standards and Police Scotland is very welcome as it helps to protect our communities from these atrocious substances.

“Consuming new psychoactive substances is akin to playing Russian roulette, but with even more unknowns.

“People cannot be sure what they are taking, or the affects they might have, as these substances are extremely unlikely to have ever been used or tested for human consumption.

“It is a life or death situation, with the potential alternatives of paranoia, seizures and coma.

“Don’t risk your life.”

Members of the public who have information regarding the supply of NPS products are urged to contact Trading Standards, early intervention in the supply of such products could save lives.