Lincoln council moves ahead with legal highs ban in city centre

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.

The ban would be in force in the city centre.

The ban would be in force in the city centre.

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.