Mephedrone ban prompts police action

A JOINT operation between police and trading standards in Suffolk is set to crack down on the newly banned drug Mephedrone.

Officers will be visiting known suppliers of the drug, banned by the government as of today, to advise them on the changes to the law.

It is now illegal to sell and possess the class B drugs mephedrone and other related substances, previously known as legal highs.

Temporary detective superintendent at Suffolk Constabulary, Steve Mattin, said: “These drugs have been re-classified following evidence of associated health risks.

“As a result, we are working with our partners to approach known suppliers and to advise them of these laws to avoid them carrying out any criminal activity. “We have already had a good response, with suppliers agreeing to stop selling a number of items whilst enquiries take place to establish if offences are being committed.

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“These drugs can have extremely harmful effects. Anyone in possession of a psychoactive substance purchased as a legal or herbal high is encouraged to hand it in to a local police station.”

To enforce the new legislation police officers are working together with Suffolk Trading Standards.

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Matthew Spall, Trading Standards Officer, added: “Suffolk Trading Standards, with the assistance of Suffolk Constabulary, have been able to identify shops in the county which may be selling these items. We’ve therefore been able to contact the shop owners and advise that they should remove any such products from their shelves.

“Linking up in this successful way has meant that people in the county are protected against this substance.”

Mephedrone appears as a fine off-white or yellowish powder. Slang names for the drug include meph, MC, MCAT, m-cat, 4-MMC, meow meow, bubbles, bounce, charge, drone and white magic.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs found that mephedrone is similar to amphetamines leading them to classify it as a class B drug.

From today there will be a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment, an unlimited fine for possession and 14 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine for supply.

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