‘Legal highs’ banned from Warrington town centre

Warrington Borough Council has approved a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) banning New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) - also known as ‘legal highs’ - in the town centre.

With the introduction of Psychoactive Substances Act in spring 2016, none of the drugs will be legal to produce, supply, or import or export for human consumption. In reality, many do actually contain controlled substances, which are illegal, or controlled substances whose side effects cannot be predicted.

The council’s executive board has 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 but can also confiscate any substances they may possess.

Warrington Borough Council’s executive board member for environment and 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, executive board 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 Warrington Borough Council consultation showed that 86% were in support of introducing a PSPO to deter people taking NPS and behaving erratically (in an anti-social manner) in Warrington town centre.

• 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

• Anyone 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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