Con­cerns over le­gal highs af­ter girls are hos­pi­talised

Fam­i­lies’ an­guish over drug abuse

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Police Warning To Schools -

how UK Skunkworks, which sells le­gal highs, also known as New Psy­choac­tive Sub­stances (NPS) or re­search chem­i­cals, had opened its 19th fran­chise in the town.

A spokesman for the shop was un­avail­able for com­ment as the Ken­tish Ex­press went to print yes­ter­day (Wed­nes­day).

Po­lice have said they are cur­rently in talks with Kent Trad­ing Stan­dards over the shop.

A Kent Po­lice spokesman said: “The lead pros­e­cut­ing agency with re­gard to NPS is Trad­ing Stan­dards. Kent Po­lice met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Trad­ing Stan­dards on Tues­day af­ter sev­eral re­cent in­ci­dents in­volv­ing the UK Skunkworks shop.” The Ken­tish Ex­press has spo­ken to the par­ents of two young teenagers who have been ex­per­i­ment­ing with le­gal highs and other drugs.

The cou­ple, who did not want to be named, say their chil­dren have been us­ing street drugs, in­clud­ing cannabis and ke­tamine.

They also claim that the pair, both aged un­der 16 and at­tend­ing schools in the town, have been tak­ing le­gal highs bought at UK Skunkworks, in­clud­ing some bought by the 17-year-old be­lieved to be in­volved in the case of the three school­girls taken ill.

And they say the ef­fect has been to change the per­son­al­i­ties of the young­sters be­yond recog­ni­tion.

They said: “It’s like you’re talk­ing to some­one com­pletely dif­fer­ent.

“They have gone from be­ing nor­mal, thought­ful, lov­ing chil­dren, to be­com­ing ag­gres­sive, an­gry and emo­tion­ally un­sta­ble.

“They are up and down and all over the place. One minute they might be an­gry, the next minute sad, and then laugh­ing and jok­ing. Ev­ery­one knows that teenagers are moody, but this is just way above and be­yond that.

“The ef­fect on our fam­ily has been ab­so­lutely dev­as­tat­ing. We are ab­so­lutely washed out by the ex­pe­ri­ence, and no one seems to want to help.”

The cou­ple say they have ad­dressed the is­sue with po­lice; pro­vid­ing them with the names of deal­ers of il­le­gal drugs and mi­nors who have been buy­ing prod­ucts from UK Skunkworks.

They also claim they have spo­ken to teach­ers at var­i­ous schools in the town at­tended by the chil­dren in­volved, but that not enough is be­ing done.

They added: “Quite frankly, our chil­dren are not be­ing pro­tected. Ob­vi­ously there are drugs ev­ery­where, but there is def­i­nitely a big prob­lem in Ash­ford in­volv­ing very young peo­ple.

“I can’t un­der­stand how they’re get­ting away with it, par­tic­u­larly when th­ese shops are sell­ing to un­der-18s.

“From a par­ent’s point of view the gov­ern­ment, po­lice and schools are not do­ing enough. The gov­ern­ment should be pass­ing laws to make life eas­ier for the po­lice, whose hands seemed to be tied.

“The po­lice have told us that they know mi­nors are be­ing served at Skunkworks. The sim­ple an­swer is to shut th­ese types of shops down and to ar­rest the peo­ple who are deal­ing in drugs.”

Pic­ture: Gary Browne FM2945572

Uk Skunkworks shop in Bank Street An ar­ray of le­gal high chem­i­cals for sale in a UK Skunkworks shop

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.