March 15, 2012 3.57 pm This story is over 140 months old

Three arrested in ‘legal high’ drug raids in Lincoln

Police raids: Two Lincoln shops raided by Lincolnshire Police were believed to be selling controlled substances known as ‘legal highs’.

Uniformed officers entered the building on the High Street armed with tasers, before one man was arrested.

Lincolnshire Police arrested three local people in a raid of two Lincoln shops believed to be selling controlled drugs.

At 12.30pm on March 15, premises on High Street and Melville Street were simultaneously searched and a 25-year-old local man, 41-year-old local man and a 44-year-old local woman were arrested.

Warrants were executed by Lincolnshire Police and Trading Standards in response to a number of young people being treated in hospital after taking cannabis substitutes and powder drugs known as ‘legal highs’.

The police report people have suffered symptoms such as a racing heart beat, breathing difficulties, swollen and constricted airways, and anxiety.

Detective Inspector Simon Lovett said: “Our main aim is to raise awareness among young people and parents and to send a very clear message to anyone thinking of peddling harmful products marketed as ‘legal highs’ in Lincolnshire- we will not tolerate it.”

The substances are attractively packaged and marketed as not for human consumption.

The substances are marketed as legal, or as research chemicals not for human consumption, and openly sold over the counter, targeting teenagers, students and young professionals.

Lovett said: “People buying these substances have no idea what they are putting in their bodies and are risking their lives and this is not an exaggeration with several well documented deaths in the UK related to amphetamine substances similar to mephedrone.”

Police and Trading Standards believe people think they are legal and safe, but say they actually represent a huge health risk to young people in Lincoln.

Trading Standards Manager, Ian Newell, said: “It is so important that people realise the possible consequences of what they are putting into their bodies and they cannot assume because they are buying something from a shop that it’s safe and legal to do so.”

Cannabis seeds were also on sale as ‘souvenirs’ exploiting a legal loophole that only makes it illegal to grow the drug, not possess seeds.

The recovered substances have been sent off for analysis.