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'Dangerous' legal highs banned from Latitude Festival

PUBLISHED: 14:47 18 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:27 19 July 2019

East Suffolk Council have warned of the dangers of 'legal highs'. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

East Suffolk Council have warned of the dangers of 'legal highs'. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

Festival-goers have been warned against the use of 'legal highs' at Latitude Festival, following a number of deaths attributed to the psychoactive substances.

Latitude 2018.
Picture: Nick ButcherLatitude 2018. Picture: Nick Butcher

Festival-goers have been warned against the use of 'legal highs' at Latitude Festival, following a number of deaths attributed to the psychoactive substances.

In 2016, East Suffolk Council banned the possession and consumption of legal highs at the sold out festival in Henham Park, near Southwold.

In partnership with Suffolk Constabulary and the festival's organisers - Festival Republic, the council has issued another Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

The PSPO, which is valid from Thursday, July 18 to Sunday, bans the possession and consumption of any psychoactive substances, or 'legal highs' at the event.

Latitude Festival Credit: Sarah Koury / Entirety LabsLatitude Festival Credit: Sarah Koury / Entirety Labs

This includes the entire festival site at Henham Park as well as the surrounding roads and will be valid for the next three years.

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Councillor Mary Rudd, East Suffolk's Cabinet Member for Community Health, said: "These are dangerous drugs and those who take them are often responsible for causing anti-social behaviour.

"The introduction of the PSPO specifically for Latitude has been effective over the past few years in deterring people from using legal highs whilst at the festival.

"Latitude is an incredible event and we would encourage visitors to follow police advice and have a safe and enjoyable time," she said.

Legal highs can be sold in a powdered form, as a pill, in liquids, capsules, perforated tabs and smoking mixtures as well as in nitrous oxide canisters or balloons.

Following a number of deaths linked to legal highs, government legislation was introduced in 2016 prohibiting the production, distribution, supply, importation or exportation of these potentially dangerous drugs. However the legislation does not prohibit possession.

Officers from the council's anti-social behaviour unit will be at the festival, as well as the organisers security team to crack down on the use of legal highs.

Accourding to East Suffolk Council, anyone found to be in breach of the PSPO will be asked to surrender the prohibited item and is liable to a fine of up to £1,000. A Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued.

This comes as the Suffolk Police issued a warning on safety at the festival calling on revellers to stay safe at the three-day event.

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