Police Scotland officers from Musselburgh have made three arrests as part of a national operation to curb the sale of legal highs.
Early on Friday morning, local divisional officers from East Lothian worked alongside colleagues from the Specialist Crime Division to target five premises in Musselburgh and one in Dalkeith following intelligence that New Psychoative Substances (NPS) were being sold.
At one of the shops, located in Musselburgh, three men - aged 25, 31 and 40 - were detained and charged with culpable and reckless conduct. The premises have been closed pending further enquiries. A further premises in Musselburgh was also searched under warrant and enquiries are ongoing at this time in respect of this matter.
At the other four premises, Police Scotland officers along with Trading Standards officials, provided appropriate guidance on legislation and licensing issues relating to NPS.
As a result of the action, NPS items were seized from the two stores and will now be sent for further analysis.
The operation in East Lothian is being backed by a two-week nationwide campaign to help raise awareness of the dangers of taking NPS products.
The campaign is aimed at youngsters aged between 11 and 18 as well as their key influencers such as parents and teachers. It also targets young professionals aged 25 to 35 and will include a national radio commercial.
Posters and screens highlighting this will also be on display in train stations and on local buses across the country. Furthermore, a range of initiatives are taking place with local community officers visiting schools, youth groups and community events to help raise awareness and educate young people on the risk associated with NPS.
Superintendent Pat Campbell, who led on today’s activity, said: “People who take these substances are risking their lives, and just because something is legal does not mean it is safe.
“I strongly advise people to avoid such substances - you can never be sure of what they contain, what their strength may be or how they may effect you. There is no safe amount.
“This morning’s operation - the result of considerable intelligence work by local officers and partner agencies - was very significant in terms of identifying premises where NPS products are being sold and customers are being given instructions on how to use them.
“As well as enforcement, we are keen to educate the public on all the associated dangers of NPS and a lot of work is going into engaging with young people to make sure they are fully briefed on the risks involved.”