News | Police crack down on legal high headshops

A city centre head shop has been raided as part of a clamp down on legal highs.

Police seized a number of items from Dr Hermans on Victoria Lane including substances suspected to be under temporary banning.

LS recently reported on the opening of the new Rude Boy headshop in Hyde Park in September. Drugs specialists and members of the local neighbourhood policing team accompanied police officers.

The items seized in the raids will undergo forensic testing to establish whether any of the ingredients are the subject of temporary bans.

The warrants to search the premises were issued followed intelligence gathering by the police, which included undercover test purchasing.

Legal highs have long been an ongoing issue for police. In one incident earlier this month a man removed from the campus after standing in the Roger Stevens fountain, was found to possess legal highs.

The raids are part of the wider campaign against the sale of legal highs and drug paraphernalia, which also included the landmark prosecution of the owner of Fantasia – another headshop in the city centre – for selling items he knew would be used for drug-taking. The successful prosecution of shop owner Hassan Abbas at Leeds Magistrates Court is the first of its kind.

Matt Guy, the University Liaison Officer for the West Yorkshire Police, told LS: “Just because they can be bought legally, it doesn’t mean they are safe for people to take. We are very concerned that because these substances are being sold openly in the city and on the Internet young people may feel they can take them without risk.”

He added: “The risks associated with taking ‘legal highs’ include breathing difficulties, heart palpitations, paranoia, psychosis, hallucinations, coma, seizures and even death.”

Sean Hayes

Photo: Leo Garbutt

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