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“Legal highs” to be banned in Warrington town centre

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TOWN Hall chiefs at Warrington have approved measures to ban “legal highs” in the town centre.

The borough council’s executive board has agreed to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) banning the substances – proper name “New Psychoactive Substances” (NPS).

Since the introduction of the Psychoactive Substances Act in the spring of last year, it is illegal to produce, supply, or import or export for human consumption, any of the substances.

In reality, many do actually contain controlled substances, which are illegal, or controlled substances whose side effects cannot be predicted.

Council chiefs have agreed to a PSPO covering the town centre and nearby areas within Bewsey and Whitecross and Fairfield and Howley for one year. This will mean police can act against anyone behaving in a way that causes alarm or distress and can also confiscate any substances they may possess.

Lead member for public protection Cllr Judith Guthrie said: “These proposals are an important part of our wider work to make Warrington a better place to live. PSPO proposals aim to enable this work to continue, supporting our on-going work to keep our communities safe.”

Cllr Pat Wright, lead member for statutory health and adult social care, said:  “The abuse of psychoactive substances in Warrington has been clearly shown to have a detrimental effect on our communities.

“These substances are not safe for human consumption and the consequences for those taking them can be extremely serious and sometimes even fatal.”

A council consultation showed that 86 per cent of people were in support of introducing a PSPO to deter people taking NPS and behaving erratically (in an anti-social manner) in Warrington town centre.

AQ breach of a PSPO can lead to a fixed penalty of £100 or a fine of up to £1,000 on prosecution.

Anyone aged 13 – 19 can get specialist support and intervention from the Young Person’s Drug and Alcohol Team, Orford Youth Base, Capesthorne Road, 01925 851029.

Those aged 18 or over can access Pathways to Recovery, 14-16 Bold Street, 01925 416176

Anyone affected by someone else’s substance misuse can get support from family support service Footsteps, the Gateway, Sankey Street, 01925 244524.

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