The first two people have been prosecuted for ignoring Lincoln City Council’s ban on ‘legal highs’.
LGC reported in February how councillors became the first in the country to approve the ban which is aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour.
Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, which came into effect last October, councils can place a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) where persistent activities are having a detrimental effect on the quality of life for people in the community.
Lincoln’s order, which was introduced in April, bans people from taking legal highs in the city centre and anyone who breaches the PSPO could receive a fixed penalty notice or face a fine in court.
The first two people to be prosecuted have been ordered by the city’s magistrates court to pay a total of £720.
Sam Barstow, the council’s service manager for public protection and anti-social behaviour, said the order had already been used on more than 200 peopleand added a further 13 people were being taken to court.
“We believe the PSPO has already had a huge impact in the city centre and these outcomes in court are very promising, showing that the consumption of ‘legal highs’ is something the council, police and courts take very seriously,” he said.
Inspector Pat Coates of Lincolnshire Police said he was “pleased” the courts had supported the use of the PSPO and added: “We continue to enforce the order on a daily basis in the city centre and since the introduction of the order we believe we have seen a reduction in consumption of these substances and the associated anti-social behaviour it causes.”