Police and Trading Standards officers have seized a large quantity of legal high substances with a street value of £45,000 from an industrial estate in West Sussex.
West Sussex County Council Trading Standards Officers, working with Sussex Police, uncovered five kilograms of New Psychoactive Substances (sometimes known as legal highs) which would have been distributed throughout the UK and beyond, at a Southwick industrial estate.
Trading Standards Manager Peter Aston said: “Sussex Police were at the unit for another reason and called us when they found out what was being made there. Investigations are at an early stage but it’s clear this was a major operation supplying shops and users around the UK and abroad.”
New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), which will be banned by law from next April, contain one or more chemical substances which produce similar effects to illegal drugs (like cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy). A quantity of cash and large number of invoices were also seized during the raid on last Tuesday.
David Barling, the County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Public Protection, added: “All New Psychoactive Substances will be banned by law from next April, but Trading Standards already have consumer protection legislation they can use to tackle this growing problem.
“We have already worked with a number of shop retailers who have voluntarily stopped selling these unsafe products, but this work shows we are prepared to tackle the production of NPS as well.”
The substances have been directly linked to anti-social behaviour, poisoning, emergency hospital admissions and, in some cases, deaths.
Mr Barling added: “The name ‘legal high’ doesn’t mean that it’s safe or legal, and no one can be sure what effect a ‘legal high’ could have on anyone who takes them.”
Sales of any NPS can be reported to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service by calling 03454 040506 or using the incident report form online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport
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