Three months after the introduction of the Psychoactive Substances Act, figures have revealed that 332 retailers are no longer selling psychoactive substances and many arrests have been made.
In 2014 alone, new psychoactive substances were involved in the deaths of 144 people in the UK, up from 31 deaths in 2010, and there have been a total of 444 deaths involving new psychoactive substances since 2010.
The Act came into effect on 26th May this year, and since then police forces across the country have used the new legislation to tackle the supply of psychoactive substances and have already arrested 186 alleged offenders.
The penalties for offenders and powers for law enforcement under the new Act include:
- up to seven years in prison for the supply, production, possession with intent to supply, importation or exportation of a psychoactive substance,
- up to two years in prison for possessing a psychoactive substance in a custodial institution, and
- prohibition and premise orders, which will allow police to shut down headshops and online dealers, with up to two years in prison for those who fail to comply.
In addition to the police action taken since the legislation was introduced, the National Crime Agency has taken action to shut down websites found to be in breach of the ban. It is working with international partners to address those websites based overseas.
“The Psychoactive Substances Act is sending out a clear message – this Government will take whatever action is necessary to keep our families and communities safe,” commented Minister for Safeguarding, Vulnerability and Countering Extremism Sarah Newton. “These drugs are not legal, they are not safe and we will not allow them to be sold in this country.”
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
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