Temporary closure order granted against shop selling so-called 'legal highs' in Winchester

Press Release: 18/12/2015

Police close shop

A closure order has been granted against the Hed High shop on Stockbridge Road in Winchester after reports of anti-social behaviour increased in the area.

The closure order was granted following a joint application by Hampshire Constabulary and Winchester City Council at a hearing at Southampton Magistrates Court today (Friday, December 18).

Using anti-social behaviour legislation officers from the local Neighbourhood Policing Team applied for the closure order on the shop. This follows numerous incidents of anti-social behaviour and nuisance being reported as a result of its sale of so-called 'legal highs'.

The notice to close was served by officers on Wednesday, December 16.

The shop will have to cease trading under the order until March 18 and any breaches of the order could be treated as a criminal offence.

Chief Inspector Claire Taylor, commander of policing in the city, said:

This application was made following an increase in anti-social behaviour in the area and reports of crime received about people trying to fund a habit connected to so-called 'legal highs'.

My neighbourhood policing team has worked exceptionally hard to bring together evidence and information to support this closure order.

This action shows our commitment to helping to make the city a better and safer place in which to live and work. I'd also like to thank our colleagues at Winchester City Council for their assistance in securing the order.

Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, said:

I am very pleased with the decision to grant a closure order for the shop on Stockbridge Road. A priority of mine is to reduce anti-social behaviour and this is a positive step forward to ensuring that this happens. 'Legal highs' are associated with increased anti-social behaviour, which can have a significant impact on local communities.

Cllr Frank Pearson, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment, Health and Wellbeing, said:

Local residents and retailers have complained about levels of crime and anti-social behaviour associated with this shop selling so-called ‘legal highs’.

I am pleased that the City Council’s Community Safety Team has played an active role in working with the police to secure this closure order, which is good news for Winchester.”

For advice and support for anyone struggling with an addiction to drugs or so-called 'Legal Highs' please visit www.talktofrank.com and follow the #LethalHighs campaign on Twitter.

If you have any concerns about legal highs or other illegal drugs then please contact your local neighbour policing team on 101.