Police Scotland have issued a closure order for Harminasion, a shop in Aberdeen, due to anti-social behaviour caused by its sale of legal highs.
This closure notice comes after increased pressure by all levels of Government, with the possibility of banning them being mentioned in the Queen’s Speech due to the problems caused by legal highs and the damaging effects they are having on communities.
Police Scotland, working with Aberdeen City Council and their legal team, has acted on concerns about persistent anti-social behaviour from customers of the shop after complaints were raised from local residents, businesses, elected representatives and partner agencies. The shop will close for three months. This is the first time in Scotland that anti-social legislation has been used to issue a closure order for a shop for selling legal highs.
There has been increasing pressure put on vendors of legal highs in Wester Hailes after concerns were raised by residents. The issue was discussed at the Open Space event and has frequently been brought up at Community Council meetings. After recent pressure by the Council and Community Council on the landlords of Westside Plaza, legal highs will no longer be sold there or the surrounding area.
Chief Inspector Nick Topping, Area Commander for Aberdeen City North, said:
This is the first time anti-social behaviour legislation has been used to tackle the associated problems around shops that sell New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), or so-called ‘legal highs’.
We are committed to tackling issues associated with NPS and reiterate that the term ‘legal high’ is completely misleading. Legal highs are not safe and people can never be sure what they are actually taking when they take NPS as the content of the substances vary and can contain controlled drugs and other harmful and potentially toxic substances. Tragically there have been a number of deaths and hospital admissions across the country which have been linked to the use of NPS. There is no safe way to take NPS and the only way to stay safe is to avoid them altogether.