South Yorkshire police chiefs vow to enforce new laws on legal highs

Psychoactive substances
Psychoactive substances

Police officers in South Yorkshire are to target producers and suppliers of substances formerly known as legal highs.

The Psychoactive Substances Act provides a blanket ban on the production and supply of the substances, with anyone breaking the law faceing seven years behind bars.

Detective Inspector Graham Bulmer, of South Yorkshire Police, said: "Our aim is to target those producing and supplying psychoactive substances and as a result reduce the harm these illegal substances cause within communities.

"Along with the new legislation, we will continue to work with partners, including local authorities, on prevention and education around these unknown substances.

"We will be revisiting premises that we have already made aware about the changes to the law and will take action where people are found to be trading these potentially dangerous drugs."

The new act gives officers powers to stop and search people and vehicles, to search premises with a warrant and to seize and destroy psychoactive substances.

Psychoactive substances mimic the effects of illegal drugs, such as cocaine, but are tweaked at a molecular level to evade previous anti-drug laws.

Before the new legislation was introduced they did not fall under the Misuse of Drugs Ac and could be sold on websites or high streets.

They were not allowed to be sold for human consumption, although a legal loophole meant they could be sold under the guise of something else, such as plant food.

To report the sale of psychoactive substances call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.