Police raid city centre shops for ‘legal highs’

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Police carried out raids at city centre shops during an operation to stop the sale of so-called legal highs.

Officers from the central neighbourhood policing team raided and seized property from Super Pound Store and Newstand, which will now be analysed.

The raids were carried out to try and find any substances containing benzofury, which was made illegal on Tuesday.

It has the same effects as class A drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy.

Mohammed Faizi, Super Pound Store owner, said he wasn’t sure what they contained but was adamant they were legal.

He said: “It is all legal.

“If something is illegal we will stop selling it, no problem.”

After seizing the property the NPT will now work with the retailers to try and stop all sales of these substances.

PC Chris Raby, of Central NPT, has been working with Turning Point to educate young people about legal highs.

He said: “West Yorkshire Police is the first force in the country to do this.

“We want to educate people about the risks to their health and help people with addictions to get off legal highs.”

Inspector, Ian Williams, said: “This is an emerging problem in the Wakefield district and specifically the town centre.

“There are an increasing number of young people purchasing legal highs, which are only legal if purchased by someone over 18.

“This contributes to our crime problem because young people go out and commit minor thefts to pay for legal highs.

“They are extremely dangerous and although we haven’t had a death in Wakefield yet, that is not to say it wont happen.”