Lincoln ‘leading the way’ on legal highs as Shadow Cabinet member tours city centre

A senior politician has described Lincoln as trailblazers for introducing a ban on legal highs before any other council in the UK.

Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Jon Trickett was accompanied by City of Lincoln Council Leader Ric Metcalfe, Lincolnshire Police Inspector Pat Coates and Sam Barstow, Service Manager for Public Protection and Antisocial Behaviour at the city council.

Trickett, Labour MP for Hemsworth in West Yorkshire, spoke to city centre businesses about the effects of the ban nearly one year on, and whether users of legal highs were continuing to use the substances in the city centre.

As previously reported, City of Lincoln Council became the first authority to ban people from taking legal highs in public when the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) was introduced on April 1, 2015.

Jon Trickett said: “Lincoln led the way and I think there was a sense of unease about it across the rest of the country and it wasn’t clear what should be done.

“Now in parliament we’re banning them and rightly so.”

The Labour shadow cabinet member was also joined on the tour by the party’s candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, Lucinda Preston.

She said: “The reason for the ban was to reduce the instances of anti-social behaviour in the city and it’s done that.

“We’ve seen that complaints about anti-social behaviour have gone down, we’ve seen that the problems associated with those legal highs have reduced, so it’s been very successful for the city.”