Cumbria Police seized £6,000 in legal highs raids
Last updated at 15:23, Thursday, 16 January 2014
THOUSANDS of pounds were seized in Cumbria as part of major legal highs operation.
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- Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner voices concerns as legal highs problem ‘begins to grow’
- Cumbria legal highs campaign: drugs minister looks at changing the law
- Cumbria health chief welcomes legal high campaign
- Evening Mail starts campaign to keep Cumbria safe from menace of legal highs
A new government report into legal highs has revealed Operation Burdock saw £6,000 seized in Cumbria in November – including from Living World, in Barrow.
The shop, in Duke Street, is understood to be one of the biggest retailers of legal highs in the county and owner Wayne Moffatt was arrested as part of the operation.
Across the country 73 search warrants were executed and 44 arrests were made.
The report, “Drugs: new psychoactive substances and prescription drugs”, was released by the Home Affairs Select Committee and reveals the number of new legal highs has rocketed from 29 in 2011 to 52 in 2012.
Police forces have been criticised for a lack of action in tackling the issue and ministers have acknowledged a change in legislation is needed in order to tackle the problem.
Ministers believe that almost one in five legal highs sold online and in UK shops contain a banned substance.
The report said: “Consumption of new psychoactive substances appears to be more prevalent outside major towns and cities, in areas where it is more difficult to acquire conventional drugs.
“The police services that are dealing with the frontline of the new psychoactive substances problem are therefore less likely to command a significant budget for drug-related policing.”
In conclusion ministers said legal highs were a growing threat to public safety that needed to be addressed.
Chief constables come under fire in the report and are accused of failing to understand the impact, the panel has recommended police forces start collecting more in-depth data within the next six months.
In Cumbria Superintendent Mark Pannone has led the campaign against the substances and has voiced serious concerns about the impact. Superintendent Mark Pannone, of Cumbria police, said: “This is an opportunity to reduce the harm caused by these substances by restricting their importation, supply and use. I welcome any legal change which will reduce the availability of so-called legal highs. I hope that the necessary legislative changes are made to protect young people from these substances.”
The Evening Mail is running a campaign for better education and tighter controls for legal highs.
Visit www.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/52459 to find out more or to sign the petition.
First published at 15:30, Tuesday, 07 January 2014
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Good on the Police they get my support for this legal loop hole
Why are the drugs being seized if they are legal?