Following a landmark victory yesterday (16 March) a Chester court rejected an appeal over the issuing of a Community Protection Notice (CPN) designed to protect people from the dangers associated with psychoactive substances or 'legal highs'.
The court in Chester rejected the appeal of a CPN that was issued to suppliers of psychoactive substances in Chester on October 5, 2015.
A number of CPNs were served on different premises in the city as the Constabulary took action to protect people against the dangerous – albeit legal – substances being sold over their counters.
One of the suppliers – Dr Herman’s in Eastgate Street – appealed against the notice, but District Judge Wyn Jones ruled against that appeal and in favour of the police’s action, meaning that the measures outlined in the CPN stand.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts said: “Public safety is at the heart of everything we do and we welcome this ruling as it supports the positive action that officers in Chester have taken to tackle the dangers of so-called legal highs. Our action has been supported by the public, who recognise the dangers of the substances and often are on the receiving end of the anti-social behaviour of users of legal highs.
“Since we’ve issued these notices in Chester, we’ve seen a reduction in the public use of new psychoactive substances. The decision taken today by the court will also help to protect vulnerable people who may not know the impact that these drugs can have. We will continue to work hard to ensure that we’re here for the local communities, when and where they need us, keeping them safe.
“It seems clear to me that some suppliers of legal highs put profit before people’s safety. We will continue to work hard to tackle psychoactive substances, and are very happy the court has supported our action to keep the public safe. The public would expect us to take action and this is a welcome development.”
The Community Prevention Notice was introduced following work led by city centre Inspector Paul Loughlin. Inspector Loughlin was supported by officers from Chester Local Policing team, Chester Anti-Social Behaviour unit and Force Solicitor Jane Norton. The Notice orders the premises or person to stop selling, offering or exposing for sale any new psychoactive substances in the Chester area.
National legislation targeted at those who produce and distribute psychoactive substances is due to be introduced later this year which will ban the sale of psychoactive substances.