Council and police officers seized a stash of so-called ‘legal highs’ during a raid on a shop in Sheffield.
The council has pledged not to tolerate the sale of new psychoactive substances, or NSP, and illicit cigarettes.
In the latest joint operation between Trading Standards and South Yorkshire Police, officers raided a shop and seized cash, illicit cigarettes and 99 packets of NPS with an estimated street value of £2,000.
A council spokesman refused to name the shop or say where in Sheffield it was.
Cabinet member for transport and the environment Coun Terry Fox said: “These products create immense harm to individuals and communities and we will not tolerate their sale in Sheffield. We took decisive action to protect residents last year to clear them from shops and we will continue to do so whenever and wherever they are sold, from private or commercial premises. If someone is harmed or dies as a result of a sale, the seller will face grave consequences.
“Together with the licence that was removed from a mini market last week for underage sales, we hope that we are sending out a very strong message that we will work relentlessly to protect our communities and keep people safe.”
The issue of legal highs is being tackled in Sheffield by a new psychoactive substances working group. The harm caused to people who use legal highs was deemed so great by the working group, which includes representatives from organisations that provide help to drug users, it was decided that action needed to be taken.
Young people are at particular risk of experimenting with a product they think is legal when bought from a shop, according to the group.
Council officials now say they will not tolerate the sale of NPS in Sheffield. Seizures such as the recent raid will become easier when a new law is passed supporting operations of this nature.
The New Psychoactive Substances Bill 2016 is currently going through parliament and is expected to come into force this spring. The bill will ban the sale of so-called ‘legal highs’ outright, as well as products known as ‘poppers’ and other substances with psychoactive effects.
Trading standards officers carried out several raids last year, clearing NPS from all shops across the city by arguing that under consumer protection legislation the onus was on sellers to prove they were safe. None could, so the products were destroyed.