Operation launched to tackle use of psychoactive substances

legal highs
(Last Updated On: December 9, 2016)

Police in Totnes have launched ‘Operation Venus’ to help protect young people from psychoactive substances.

The operation aims to tackle the use of psychoactive substances (formerly known as legal highs) and help protect young people across the whole of South Hams.

Police not only want to safeguard young people, they want to intercept those supplying the drugs.
The key message of the campaign is ‘legal highs are not legal’. It is a criminal offence to supply or distribute a psychoactive substance with a maximum prison sentence on conviction is seven years.

“Psychoactive substances/highs are not what they seem” said Sergeant Tim Perrin who is leading the operation. Teenagers using these drugs are putting themselves and their friends at risk, as the substances in circulation are often toxic and dangerous.

The police team are working closely with other public bodies and organisations to spread educational messages about the dangerous effects that the substances can have. “There have been a number of serious incidents in the area involving young people and their use of the illegal drugs. This is very worrying.” added Sgt Perrin.

Educational workshops with all secondary schools will be carried out in South Hams, with the help of local medical professionals and drug experts. The sessions will include a heart-rendering account of a local boy who took ‘legal highs’ when he was just fifteen and is having to live with life-changing consequences since.

Sergeant Perrin would like to remind teenagers and their parents “Remember that the substances are illegal for a reason. They are not what they seem. Legal highs don’t exist anymore. They are just drugs which are illegal and unsafe.”

Operation Venus has the backing of Public Health Devon, Community Safety Partnership, RISE, Y-SMART and schools in Totnes, Dartmouth Kingsbridge and Ivybridge.

If you have any information or any concerns regarding psychoactive substances (legal highs) in the South Hams, or any young person who might be effected by them, please call 101 or Crime Stoppers on Tel: 0800 555 111 quoting Operation Venus, EN 015792/16.

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