Action on legal highs

Labour press Dartford Borough Council to take action on legal highs

Dartford Labour Party will this week demand that Dartford Borough Council take action against the use of ‘Legal Highs’ in the borough.

Nitrous oxide, also known as ‘laughing gas’ is the second most popular recreational drug amongst young people, with 7.6% of 16-24 year olds responding to the 2013/14 Crime Survey for England and Wales reporting nitrous oxide use in the last year.

The law currently does not address possession and usage of this drug. Signs of the use of legal highs, such as Nitrous oxide in Dartford, have become common in locations such as our town centre, Central Park, Temple Hill Square and Darenth Country Park. Residents have expressed their concerns to Labour Councillors regarding the on-going nuisance of litter and anti-social behaviour.

The leader of Dartford Labour, Councillor Jonathon Hawkes said:

“We know that Legal highs are dangerous to those who use them and a major cause of concern for local residents. We believe that the council has a duty to do all it can to combat the use of legal highs in Dartford and that’s why we’ve asked for this debate. I believe we should work together to address the concerns of residents and protect the community.”

Labour wishes to see the council raise awareness of the dangers of legal highs. Labour is also asking the council to consult with residents of Dartford about the implementation of Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), throughout Dartford Borough, with the following prohibition:

Person(s) within this area will not:
⦁ Ingest, inhale, inject, smoke, possess or otherwise use intoxicating substances.
⦁ Selling and supply is also prohibited.

PSPOs are powers available under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and they are only available for local authorities to use. A PSPO is designed to stop individuals or groups committing anti-social behaviour in a public space.

Labour’s motion on Legal Highs will be debated by councillors on Monday evening, 12th October.

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