Legal highs cafe closed by court order

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Police have closed down a controversial legal high shop – saying the cafe was having a detrimental effect on the community.

Officers are putting up hoardings at the Gypsy Kings Cafe, in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, and it must remain closed for the next three months.

PC Dan McGarrigle said: ‘Today’s closure of the premise demonstrates that we take reports of anti-social behaviour seriously. The anti-social behaviour related to this premises has had a detrimental effect on the local community and has had a negative impact on individuals, families and businesses.

‘It is my belief that the anti-social behaviour was related to the premise supplying psychoactive substances, commonly known as legal highs.

‘These substances are extremely dangerous and certainly not safe for consumption, this can cause individuals to act otherwise than they normally would when not under the influence of substances, this can result in acting in an anti social manner.

‘The ultimate consequence of taking a psychoactive substance could lead to fatality or serious mental health issues.

‘I would encourage anyone who needs help and support around substance misuse to contact the appropriate agency.’

The closure order was taken out at Portsmouth Magistrate’s court today under the Anti-social, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Hampshire Constabulary have worked closely with Portsmouth City Council on the order.

Dr. Janet Maxwell, director of public health said, ‘A small minority of people misuse so called legal highs.

‘We are finding a number of people becoming very unwell both physically and mentally due to the use of these products. Just because they are not illegal does not mean they are safe to consume.

‘I would advise any person who might be using these substances or their parent/carers to contact one of the confidential support agencies in the city that can help.’

Anyone under 18 years of age can contact the Are You Sorted team at Portsmouth City Council on (023) 9284 1560 and those over 18 can contact the Portsmouth Recovery Hub on (023) 9275 1617.

Alternatively anyone with concerns relating to legal highs can find further information on the FRANK website: or the Angelus Foundation

You can also contact the Portsmouth Central Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101, or via Twitter @PompeyPolice.