The City of Lincoln Council’s Executive Committee has made its next move to bring in a ban on so-called legal highs and alcohol in the city centre from April 1, pending approval from the Full Council.
The amended Public Space Protection Order was carried forward at a meeting on Monday, January 19, in response to new legislation allowing councils to enforce a ban on ‘persistently detrimental activities’ such as using so-called legal highs.
The proposed ban, which the council believes is the first of its kind in the country, is an addition to a ban on street drinking in the city centre meant to tackle anti-social behaviour.
The wording of the banning order is:
Person(s) within this area will not ingest, inhale, inject, smoke or otherwise use intoxicating substances.
Intoxicating substances is given the following definition (which includes alcohol): “Substances with the capacity to stimulate or depress the central nervous system”.
Anyone in breach of the order could receive a fine in court or a Fixed Penalty Notice.
A number of shops selling legal highs in the central Lincoln area have attracted significant attention of police and multi-agency organisations. The proposal report also states increases in anti-social behaviour directly relates to the prevalence of the outlets.
Officers also noted reports of Lincoln being “well-known” across the midlands for substance supply, leading to what agencies call “legal high tourism”.
City of Lincoln Council Leader Ric Metcalfe said: “There ia a great deal of support for this and the council is taking a very proactive stance to make sure that our city is safe and a pleasant place to be — and in the interest of the young people whose lives can be blighted by these substances.”
A previous four-week public consultation showed 97% of respondents supported the move. Around 80% said they had suffered problems caused by legal highs in the area, while 56% said they had directly suffered from anti-social behaviour.