A shop selling legal highs has closed under threat of court action from the council and police.
Bolton Council and Greater Manchester police had joined forces to try and force the closure of a shop selling legal highs, under the new Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act.
The hearing on a closure notice had been adjourned until February 11, but the owner has now decided to close ahead of the hearing.
Nirvana on Bold Street sold legal highs, as well as drug related items such as bongs and pipes. Legal highs contain one or more substances which produce similar effects to illegal drugs, such as cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy. However, legal highs can be extremely dangerous, as there is not enough research about them to understand their potency, or adverse effects if used with other substances such as alcohol.
Both the police and the council had a genuine concern about the safety of these products and their effect on the individuals taking them and also the wider community.
In recent weeks and months, there had also been anti-social behaviour in the vicinity of the shop, with large groups gathering and waiting for the shop to open, as well as people who had consumed the goods sold in the shop, then causing a disturbance in the town centre.
After repeated attempts to work with the owner of the shop to address the anti-social behaviour and disturbances, the police and council served the shop with a temporary closure notice and applied to the courts for a closure order.
Councillor Derek Burrows, Cabinet member for Community Safety and Police said: “We had a genuine concern both about the safety of these products and the impact they were having on the individuals taking them and also the wider community.
It was difficult to find a solution, but by working with the police to bring a closure order, we feel we have sent a clear message that these types of businesses and the issues they bring are not welcome in Bolton. We are pleased that the owner of the business recognised that this type of business is not needed or wanted in our town and decided to close the shop.”