Chesterfield’s legal high shop Reefer is no more

Legal highs.
Legal highs.
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A controversial Chesterfield shop which sold legal highs has a new identity and is no longer selling the substances.

Reefer ceased to exist on Tuesday – with a store selling e-cigarettes taking its place.

A spokesman for the new shop, which is called Rodney’s, said: “We’re open for business and definitely not selling legal highs.”

The news comes after a “great deal of work” by a number of organisations including Derbyshire Constabulary and Chesterfield Borough Council.

A special investigation by the Derbyshire Times last summer revealed how shopkeepers feared parts of Chesterfield town centre had become ‘no-go’ zones – with anti-social behaviour and drug use rife.

Inspector John Turner, of Chesterfield police station, said the majority of legal highs had been bought from Reefer, leading to yobbish behaviour in the heart of the town.

He added: “It is less likely that the substances will be taken in the town centre from now on.”

However, officers have voiced concern about the possibility of traders setting up street stalls to sell legal highs in Chesterfield.

Their fears come as police step up patrols around the Crooked Spire church amid a number of reports about suspected use of the substances and anti-social behaviour.

A mobile police station will also be used to monitor the issue.

PCSO John Lockwood, from Chesterfield Town Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “This is a treasured landmark in our town which is being shadowed by groups acting anti-socially and leaving litter in the area.

“We will be carrying out increased patrols in the area to speak to those responsible and deter others from acting in the same way.”

A Chesterfield Borough Council spokesman said: “We welcome any moves to reduce anti-social behaviour in the town centre.”

Legal highs produce similar effects to illegal drugs like cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.