00:41 GMT +319 November 2019
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    Woman smoking in the street of Lincoln, UK

    British City Clamps Down on 'Legal High Tourism'

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    A historic city in England is attracting a new type of tourist. Lincoln, according to a council report, is dealing with the effects of "legal high tourism".

    The city is said to have become a "well known" destination in the Midlands for having a "ready and cheap supply of these substances" and has since become the first place in Britain to ban people from taking them, the council report reads. 

    New psychoactive substances, 'legal highs', contain one or more chemical compounds that are designed to produce effects in the brain that are similar to those of illegal drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy. They are misleadingly referred to as 'legal highs'; and can lead to poisoning, emergency hospital admissions, in and some cases death.

    Ninety-seven percent of people living in Lincoln supported a ban on people 'consuming intoxicating substances in Lincoln city centre'. This includes alcohol and any new psychoactive substances — 'legal highs'.

    A Public Space Protection Order will give police in Lincoln the power to act if they see people using the psychoactive drugs. Officers will be able to confiscate them and hand out fines or start legal proceedings.

    Council leader Ric Metcalf said:

    "We have evidence from the police, residents and businesses to show these substances are having a persistent, detrimental impact on local communities."

    Recent evidence published by think tank Centre for Social Justice revealed that Lincolnshire police dealt with more 'legal high' related incidents than any other force in England and Wales.

    In 2011, Lincolnshire constabulary logged 4 incidents compared with 820 incidents in 2014.

    But the ban is set to move to other cities in Britain, including Bradford. Statistics from the Centre for Social Justice revealed that the number of police incidents relating to 'legal highs' rose from 4 in 2011, to 324 in 2014 in West Yorkshire.

    Bradford Council and West Yorkshire police have confirmed they will be looking at Lincoln with interest.

    According to think tank, Centre for Social Justice, more people are taking legal highs in England than anywhere else in Europe, which is having a damaging impact on society. 

    In 2012, there were 97 deaths associated with 'legal highs' in England, compared with 12 in 2009.

    Inspector Pat Coates from Lincolnshire Police said: "We welcome the city council's decision to ban the use of legal highs in Lincoln's city centre and we hope it will have a real effect in cutting out some of the detrimental effects the use of these substances has on our communities, as well as offering help to individuals who may need it".

    cannabis, drugs, Britain
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