Council Leader urges parents to keep children away
Council leader Ravi Govindia is urging parents to keep their children away from a newly opened shop in Garratt Lane that specialises in selling “legal highs”.
The so-called 'Head Shop' is offering a range of synthetic products that if misused could mimic the effects of drugs including Class A narcotics. However under existing legislation it is not illegal to sell or possess these artificial "copycat compounds".
Despite this "legal blindspot", Cllr Govindia wants to make sure that local parents are fully aware that this shop is trading so that they can make sure their children have nothing to do with it.
And he will be writing to the Home Office to call for tougher rules and regulations to outlaw the sale of all unsafe and unhealthy psychedelic substances.
Cllr Govindia said: "It is a matter of very great concern that this shop has opened in our borough. We believe it is quite wrong for these kind of mood-altering substances to be on sale in such a prominent high street-type setting.
"We believe that these synthetic products pose a real risk to young people and their health and that is why we will be doing what we can to put a stop to this.
"We have also received some quite worrying reports from our colleagues in the NHS that a number of out-patients at Springfield Hospital have also been frequenting this shop. The local community will be extremely concerned that people with a range of mental illnesses are able to very easily purchase these mood-altering substances.
"We will now be writing to the Home Office to urgently request that they speed up their classification of these synthetic psychoactive substances so that they can be outlawed and made illegal under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
"And I will be raising this issue as a matter of great urgency with the borough police commander so that very stringent and continuous checks can be made on this shop, the products it is selling and the age of its customers. Our trading standards team will also be highly vigilant in ensuring that the proprietor does not commit any criminal offences.
"As a local authority we will be exploring all the legal avenues available to us to prevent the public, especially young people, being put at risk in any way."
November 12, 2013