Drugs and paraphernalia found as police crackdown on ‘legal highs’

Officers from the Mounted Section on patrol in the area.
Officers from the Mounted Section on patrol in the area.

A large quantity of drugs and drug paraphernalia has been recovered during a police raid in Whitley Bay.

Officers executed a search warrant at Smoking Gadgets in Station Road last Thursday following concerns raised.

More than 1,000 items, including suspected controlled drugs and paraphernalia which can be used in the administration of controlled substances, were seized.

Chief Inspector Jamie Pitt said the raids were carried out in response to concerns about a rise in anti-social behaviour and low level crime which may be linked to the use of controlled drugs and the increased use of legal highs.

The activity coincides with the launch of a national Home Office campaign raising awareness of the risks of legal highs to young people.

He said: “The activity was in direct response to community concerns regarding increases in anti-social behaviour and crime generally within that area.

“Low level disorder, damage and thefts are crimes which cause frustration to individuals and have an notable impact on the wider community.

“We’ll be working closely with our partners, including trading standards, and the local authority, during any subsequent enquiries and investigations which take place regarding this phase of the operation.”

Vera Baird, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I appreciate the action already taken by the Home Office in banning some of the substances but some of these so-called legal highs can be just as addictive and damaging as Class A drugs and people who supply them should be dealt with in the same way as those who supply drugs.”

Anyone with concerns in their neighbourhood can contact police on 101, extension 69191.