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Lincoln Becomes First City to Ban Legal Highs
Members at Lincoln City Council have voted in favour of a ban on the use of ‘intoxicating substances’ including legal highs in the town centre. The council will impose a Public Space Protection Order from April in an attempt to control what is seen as an increasing problem in the area. Lincolnshire Police logged 820 incidents involving legal highs in 2014, the highest number amongst 16 forces that provided figures in a recent survey.
The new powers have been welcomed by Lincoln’s service manager for public protection and anti-social behaviour Sam Barstow, who told The Independent, “This new power gives the police and council the ability to deal with issues associated with the on-street consumption of these substances in a more flexible way. We are fairly confident of our ability to enforce, but we have agreed to review the order in six months’ time to ensure that it is having the desired impact.”
Anyone found breaking the ban, which comes into force on April 1, will be committing a criminal offence, and could be handed a fixed penalty notice or a court-imposed fine.
So-called ‘legal highs’ have already been banned in the Republic of Ireland under the Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Act 2010 which makes it an offence to sell or supply the chemicals for human consumption. In September last year the Local Government Association called for similar action in the UK.