Police in Cornwall work to stop 'legal highs'

Police in Cornwall have been working with trading standards officers to stop the sale of so-called "legal highs".

Devon and Cornwall Police said some substances sold as being legal were illegal and potentially harmful.

Both organisations said their campaign had been started after incidents in the county and deaths elsewhere in Britain.

In 2011, five teenagers in Bodmin were hospitalised after consuming substances innocuously labelled as bath salts, police said.

'Strict enforcement'

In February, police said they believed the death of an 18-year-old man from South Shields, South Tyneside, could have been linked to the use of legal highs.

Some shops did not realise they were breaking the law, having taken the word of product manufacturers.

So far, shops in Bodmin, Camborne, Liskeard, Newquay, Penzance, Redruth and Truro have been inspected, they said.

Insp Ian Drummond-Smith, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "Our aim is to educate the shopkeepers now and this will allow us to prove they understand the nature of their products, so we can follow with strict enforcement in the coming months."

He added that a quantity of illegal drugs were seized from one shop in the county purporting to sell legal highs.

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