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Taunton legal highs ban

Taunton Deane is about to come one of the first councils in the country to ban legal highs in public.

A Public Space Protection Order banning the use of "intoxicating substances" in public is due to come into force today (June 1st). This includes alcohol, as well as legal highs.

Breaching the order will be a criminal offence and offenders could face a fine in court.

Legal highs ban to begin in Taunton

Crackdowns on legal highs are increasing. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Taunton Deane has become one of the first councils in the country to ban using legal highs in public.

A Public Space Protection Order banning the use of "intoxicating substances" in public comes into force today (June 1st).

The council says it received "overwhelmingly positive" views when the public was asked about this in April.

Recent changes to the law mean local councils can now place an order like this on activities they believe are "having a detrimental effect on the quality of life for people in the community".

The order prohibits drinking, using legal highs or using any other substances "with the capacity to stimulate or depress the central nervous system" in public areas.

It replaces a "no drinking" order that applied to some areas of Taunton, and is much broader, covering Taunton town centre and areas around Priorswood Road, through to Toneway and Blackbrook Way.

Breaching the order will be a criminal offence, and offenders could be fined in court or received a fixed penalty notice. Police and council enforcement officers will have the power to demand people hand over any prohibited substances.

This Protection Order has to be welcomed, through great partnership working with the Police we are able to offer protection for the majority against the most unwelcome and undesirable activities of the minority.

Our streets, parks and open spaces should be much cleaner and safer as a result of this order and it allows a clear message to be given that unacceptable, antisocial behaviour in Taunton will not be tolerated.

– Councillor John Williams, Leader of the Council

Alongside this the Council is increasingly working with others to support those with problems who may end up causing a nuisance in an effort to improve things for everyone.

– Councillor Jane Warmington

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