A CRACKDOWN on the sale of legal highs has been introduced.

Wigan Council and Greater Manchester Police are taking action with the aim of ensuring they are not easily and readily available to young people on our high streets.

Novel psychoactive substances (NPS) bypass a number of drug laws and do not contain the same chemical make up as their illegal counterparts but still mimic the effects that they produce.

Clr Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for Wigan Council, said: “We have taken all the necessary steps in order to control the sale of so called legal highs to young people in the borough.

“Ideally we want to see the sale of these dangerous products stopped completely however, protecting the young and vulnerable is always a priority.

“When you learn of the risks posed by these sorts of substances you can understand why it is so important to keep them from reaching children, there are serious health risks associated with them and too often taking these substances ends in a trip to hospital.”

There has been a rise in the number of referrals where young people have been admitted to A&E after taking legal highs and according to recent statistics, 70 deaths have been attributed to NPS in the UK.

Wigan Council Trading Standards, Young Peoples Drug and Alcohol team and Greater Manchester Police, have visited shops in the borough which sell the products.

The retailers have been served with letters warning them they may be operating outside the law if found selling legal highs to under 18’s.

Retailers can seek help in preventing such sales and test purchases will be carried out to see if the shops are complying with the law.

To report a retailer that might be selling legal highs to young people contact Trading Standards on 01942 827476.