Police officers have raided shops and business premises across Scotland and seized over 3,000 satchets of so-called “legal highs” in Edingburgh, Police Scotland has revealed.
Raids also took place in Ayr, Glasgow, Musselburgh, Dundee, Arbroath, Aberdeen and Peterhead, and three men have been charged with culpable and reckless conduct, according to a BBC report.
“Enforcement is only a small part of this operation and we are keen to educate the public on all the associated risks of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) so that less people are inclined to buy and consume them,” detective chief inspector Stuart Houston said in a statement.
The raids are part of a broader campaign, aimed at informing young people about the risks of NPS, which are widely sold across the county at petrol stations, newsagents and take-away restaurants.
NPS fall outside UK drug laws, but are understood to have caused dozens of deaths in Scotland in recent years as the drugs can contain harmful chemicals.
The campaign will also include posters, to be displayed in public places such as in train stations and on buses, warning young people that “legal doesn’t mean safe,” Police Scotland said.
According to the National Records of Scotland, the number of NPS-related deaths rose sharply last year to 113, compared to 47 in 2012.