Police and trading standards officers swooped on shops and seized so-called ‘legal highs’ being sold across South Yorkshire.
A day of action was carried out due to concerns around the use of the substances, which are designed to mimic the effects of recreational drugs.
Stores have used the argument that the products are labelled as not meant for human consumption, but officers have evidence people are buying and taking them - resulting in antisocial behaviour.
The shops were visited in December 2014 and traders were served with police and trading standards documents informing them that the substances they sell were being ingested and were considered unsafe.
Despite the warnings, several shops were still stocking ‘legal highs’ when revisited. The products were seized, and some were found to contain Class A drugs.
Ian Ashmore, head of Sheffield Council’s environmental regulation team, said: “New psychoactive substances are labelled as ‘not for human consumption’ but they are designed to mimic the effects of controlled drugs. We have evidence people are buying these products to get high, and the effects on users can be unpredictable and extremely dangerous.”
Detective Inspector Graham Bulmer said: “Recent legislative changes have now seen the classification of substances that were previously legal. During the visits we advised sellers of the legislative changes and recovered some substances from shops in Barnsley and Sheffield which are now Class A drugs.
“If further instances are identified then shop owners and users will face prosecution like they would for supplying other controlled drugs.
“The inherent dangers of taking these unknown and untested chemicals are obvious, yet because of the relatively low cost and ease of access people are still tempted to experiment.”
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