Aberdeen legal high shop ordered to close down by police

Harminasion on George Street today
Harminasion on George Street today

A SHOP selling legal highs in Aberdeen has been ordered to shut down by police.

In the first such action of its kind in Scotland, Police Scotland – with the assistance of Aberdeen City Council and its legal team – secured a closure order for the shop Harminasion, on George Street.

Police said they were acting over concerns by local residents about “persistent anti-social behaviour” from customers of the shop.

The closure order was granted at Aberdeen Sheriff Court today and will last for an initial three months.

Chief Superintendent Adrian Watson, Police Commander for Aberdeen, said: “We have had a significant number of complaints raised by the public and businesses in the area and despite trying to work this through with the shop concerned, we, as a partnership, have taken this action in bringing the closure order to give the community some well-deserved respite and to keep people safe.

“I stress the case has been built firmly around the associated anti-social behaviour that has been caused by the way the business operates. That said, we of course have obvious concerns around the effects of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), or so-called legal highs being sold, which are mirrored by a wide range of partners including Aberdeen City Council and NHS Grampian and we will continue to work collaboratively in looking at every opportunity to lessen the harm caused in the City and across the wider north-east.”

Chief Inspector Nick Topping, Area Commander for Aberdeen City North, said: “This is the first time anti-social behaviour legislation has been used to tackle the associated problems around shops that sell New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), or so-called ‘legal highs’.

“Working together with Aberdeen City Council, we have listened to the concerns raised by the local community about the anti-social behaviour surrounding the shop on George Street.

“We are committed to tackling issues associated with NPS and reiterate that the term ‘legal high’ is completely misleading. Legal highs are not safe and people can never be sure what they are actually taking when they take NPS as the content of the substances vary and can contain controlled drugs and other harmful and potentially toxic substances.”