On 20 May Greater Manchester Police’s North Manchester division conducted raids on a network of shops selling ‘legal highs’ and psychoactive substances. The raid yielded substantial amounts of these ‘legal highs’along with bags of pills and a quantity of unidentified powder, yet to be forensically investigated.
The raids of two shops in Manchester’s city centre, one in Strangeways and a private residence in Sale comes after a large quantity of ‘legal highs’ were discovered within a storage unit in Strangeways. These were found to contain illegal Class B drugs after a forensic analysis was performed.
Of the incident, Police Sergeant Adam Cronshaw has said: “Today’s warrants are GMP’s response to safeguard vulnerable people from ‘legal highs.’ We are encountering increasing numbers of young people across Manchester under the influence of these drugs making them vulnerable to child sexual exploitation and addictive behaviour.
“A recent report revealed that since 2009, the number of deaths attributed to these ‘legal highs’ has increased by 800 percent, which shows the very real dangers anyone faces when taking these substances.
“Users may have no idea what substances may be contained within the packets as there are no legal quality controls and the packets are often marked with ‘not for human consumption’ to absolve the sellers from any responsibilities should someone become ill from taking them.”