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Commissioner welcomes ban on New Psychoactive Substances

27th May 2015

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has welcomed the news the Government will place a ban on New Psychoactive Substances.

The announcement on banning the substances, more commonly referred to as legal highs, was made in today’s Queen’s Speech.

Commissioner Baird has been a long term campaigner on this issue, both during her time as Police and Crime Commissioner and before she took on this role.

Before her election as Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird raised the issue with the Home Secretary and vowed to continue raising it at the highest level of Government as she has done since she became Police and Crime Commissioner.

Legal highs produce similar effects to illegal drugs but are not yet controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act. They cannot be sold for human consumption and are openly marketed with this warning while others are sold as bath salts or plant food to get around the law. Most fall into one of three categories: stimulants; sedatives or hallucinogens.

Commissioner Baird said: “I have made my feelings on these substances well known in the past and have previously called on the Home Secretary to deliver on her Government’s policy to tackle legal highs and take strong action against those who sell such products.

“I of course welcome the news that we will finally see a blanket ban on New Psychoactive Substances which are just as capable of having devastating effects on those who use them as class A drugs.

“We have seen cases in the north east and country-wide on how these drugs have impacted on people’s lives and their sale and consumption needs to be stopped.

“We know the problems involved with tackling those who make the substances as they change ingredients to get round the law. It’s only right police and trading standards are given the tools they need to confront those businesses and that those who deal in them are treat the same as dealers of class A drugs.

“Once we have the powers locally, I will ensure our officers do everything in their power to stop their sale and prevent people getting addicted to these substances.”