Psychoative Substances forfeited by Orpington business

Published Friday, 15 May 2015

Bromley Magistrates ordered the forfeiture of approximately £4500 worth of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) - also known as ‘legal highs’ - on 6 May 2015.

The substances had been seized by Bromley Trading Standards and Police from a shop in the borough called Skunkworks. Trading Standards made an application to the court under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and the court’s decision means that the seized products will not be returned to the business.

Police and trading standards raided Skunkworks in Orpington in February 2015 amid concerns that increasing antisocial behaviour in the area was the result of young people found in possession of and using NPS. There were also a number of medical emergencies, involving young people who had become ill from ingesting NPS allegedly purchased from the shop.

The court was told NPS were chemical substances, which had been deliberately manufactured to mimic the effects of traditional recreational drugs. Despite the products having warnings such as ‘potpourri product only’ and ‘not for human consumption’ it was argued that the only use of these substances is for ingestion, and the warnings and instructions on use were wholly inadequate.

The court granted the forfeiture on the basis that the substances were considered unsafe. The application was not opposed by the owner of the business.

Executive Member for Public Protection and Safety, Councillor Kate Lymer said: “I welcome this decision by Bromley Magistrates. This follows previous action taken by the Safer Bromley Partnership to tackle this problem and protect consumers and the local community from the effects of taking these substances."


Notes to editors:

Trading Standards applied for an order pursuant to Regulation 18(2)(c) of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 authorising the forfeiture of the goods specified as they are dangerous products

It was argued that the products in question were manifestly “dangerous” within the meaning of regulation 2 of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and had only one possible market, viz human consumption, and that the warnings on the products are wholly inadequate given that market.