PHOTO: Legal high users slumped on floor of public toilet in Taunton

This is The West Country: Legal high users slumped on floor of public toilet in Taunton Legal high users slumped on floor of public toilet in Taunton

THIS shocking picture captured on a police body camera shows two ‘legal high’ users slumped almost unconscious on the floor of a public loo beside a busy square where people were enjoying their lunch in the sun.

The men had crashed out after injecting themselves in the Castle Green public conveniences in Taunton town centre at around 2.30pm on a Monday afternoon earlier this month.

A pensioner with no connection to them was filmed casually walking out of the premises moments before the PCSO went in and police say they fear a child using the toilets could have picked up a syringe with dire consequences.

Police say one of the men appeared groggy as he came round, while it took ten minutes to rouse his friend before they were moved on.

Acting Inspector Neil Kimmins said: “Our fear is that if people are injecting in public toilets in broad daylight, then children could go into the toilets, pick up a used needle and accidentally stab themselves. I can see it’s only a matter of time.

“If people want to take legal highs in a private house, society says they can do that.

“But here they’re stepping outside the normal rules of society, sticking their fingers up and saying, ‘We’re going to do what we like’.

“The public who pay their taxes shouldn’t have this experience coming into Taunton.

“It’s not right that people in that lovely area sit down to have their lunch and before they leave go into the toilets to see this.”

PC Jim Breakwell said most of the 20 to 30 regular legal high users in Taunton buy their products in the Hush store, in Bridge Street – it is not illegal to sell legal highs so long as it is not suggested they are for human consumption, but Hush owner Simon Tomlin refuses to comment on the issue.

PC Breakwell added: “We’re trying to educate users by talking to them when they aren’t under the influence.

“But they can’t remember what they’re like when they take them. They don’t know what they’re doing. The message isn’t getting through.

“We don’t know how it’s going to affect people long term.”

LEGAL HIGH CHAOS CASE STUDIES FROM TAUNTON POLICE A TEACHER, who is non-drug user and has no criminal record, took a £25 legal high in his parents’ garden at 4.30pm. He was convinced he was going to die but was unable to summon his parents’ help, even though they were yards away inside the house. He was eventually able to phone his mother at 10pm and she helped bring him round with coffee.

PC Jim Breakwell said: “A few friends told him legal highs are OK and he wanted to try it. He’s a normal guy and not a drug user. The first time he took it he was left scared physically and mentally. He’s still suffering psychologically and his self-esteem is low because he can’t understand how he allowed himself to get dragged into it.”

A FATHER fears he could face financial ruin as he funds his daughter’s legal high habit. He has forked out £3,000 over the last four months buying the highly addictive substances for her daughter, who is in her early 20s, so that she does not become homeless or turn to crime.

Acting Inspector Neil Kimmins said: “He just doesn’t know what to do and has turned to the police – but there’s not a lot we can do as the law stands.”

POLICE checking on a man and a woman sleeping rough in Taunton’s Vivary Park area discovered 60 used needles in a public area.

The pair, who do not work and do not claim benefits, are both taking four legal highs costing £12.50 a hit every day. PC Breakwell claims they fund their habit through crime, including begging.

ONE man told officers he mixes his legal highs with methadone – prescribed to help wean addicts off heroin – because it helps him get much higher than using heroin.

Comments (19)

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2:06pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Somerset_BTGOG says...

Ban this rubbish.
Ban this rubbish. Somerset_BTGOG
  • Score: 24

3:22pm Thu 26 Jun 14

ToytownTim says...

These people are a useless waste to society.

Send them off to Afghanistan
These people are a useless waste to society. Send them off to Afghanistan ToytownTim
  • Score: 7

3:45pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Ask Sense says...

funny old world as opium was not only legal but widely used and excepted 100 years ago, you could buy it from shops people used it to get their babys to sleep..oh and that prescription medication, codine morphine etc used by the medical industry(made from opium derivatives)...fine if you have it in the right format and from the correct suppliers ...apparently! we could change attitudes at the drop of a hat with better education and availability of softer drugs!...u can buy glue from any supermarket remember!...its a choice...people who continually get wasted need proper help and guidance and people should be given the responsibility and information they need to make informed choices.. its the hypocrisy of the state that leads to this...zero tolerance doesn't work as proved!.. put the cards on the table and give the people the help they really need, change minds and opinions, fashion and culture and the whole world would be a better place..nt to mention all those who drink every night!...I take nothing now for my state (apart from ciggys for shame!) and see the world a lot clearer and for what it really is! and its really shocking! Acceptability and availability are the main driving force behind drug culture and the words legal/illegal should never be used again..it gives it a feeling of acceptability rather than highlighting the need for change and counselling for all those involved including legal drugs, such as alcohol!
funny old world as opium was not only legal but widely used and excepted 100 years ago, you could buy it from shops people used it to get their babys to sleep..oh and that prescription medication, codine morphine etc used by the medical industry(made from opium derivatives)...fine if you have it in the right format and from the correct suppliers ...apparently! we could change attitudes at the drop of a hat with better education and availability of softer drugs!...u can buy glue from any supermarket remember!...its a choice...people who continually get wasted need proper help and guidance and people should be given the responsibility and information they need to make informed choices.. its the hypocrisy of the state that leads to this...zero tolerance doesn't work as proved!.. put the cards on the table and give the people the help they really need, change minds and opinions, fashion and culture and the whole world would be a better place..nt to mention all those who drink every night!...I take nothing now for my state (apart from ciggys for shame!) and see the world a lot clearer and for what it really is! and its really shocking! Acceptability and availability are the main driving force behind drug culture and the words legal/illegal should never be used again..it gives it a feeling of acceptability rather than highlighting the need for change and counselling for all those involved including legal drugs, such as alcohol! Ask Sense
  • Score: 1

3:49pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Ask Sense says...

they ASSUME its legal drugs! more shocking that they found a public toilet to do it in as most have been torn down! shocking they don't have a home to go too as otherwise they would be there! but we sweep the real issues under the carpet as soon as the word drugs comes into play!...and whats this legality thing?!?! it just implies that its fine and ok for people to do..so much for keeping us safe big brother hey! funny old world as opium was not only legal but widely used and excepted 100 years ago, you could buy it from shops people used it to get their babys to sleep..oh and that prescription medication, codine morphine etc used by the medical industry(made from opium derivatives)...fine if you have it in the right format and from the correct suppliers ...apparently! we could change attitudes at the drop of a hat with better education and availability of softer drugs!...u can buy glue from any supermarket remember!...its a choice...people who continually get wasted need proper help and guidance and people should be given the responsibility and information they need to make informed choices.. its the hypocrisy of the state that leads to this...zero tolerance doesn't work as proved!.. put the cards on the table and give the people the help they really need, change minds and opinions, fashion and culture and the whole world would be a better place..nt to mention all those who drink every night!...I take nothing now for my state (apart from ciggys for shame!) and see the world a lot clearer and for what it really is! and its really shocking! Acceptability and availability are the main driving force behind drug culture and the words legal/illegal should never be used again..it gives it a feeling of acceptability rather than highlighting the need for change and counselling for all those involved including legal drugs, such as alcohol! ......(and send them to Afghanistan please your murderous views are sickening even for the brave who defend this country its a disgrace you even suggest it! and ban...what does that mean?..it helps no-one!)
they ASSUME its legal drugs! more shocking that they found a public toilet to do it in as most have been torn down! shocking they don't have a home to go too as otherwise they would be there! but we sweep the real issues under the carpet as soon as the word drugs comes into play!...and whats this legality thing?!?! it just implies that its fine and ok for people to do..so much for keeping us safe big brother hey! funny old world as opium was not only legal but widely used and excepted 100 years ago, you could buy it from shops people used it to get their babys to sleep..oh and that prescription medication, codine morphine etc used by the medical industry(made from opium derivatives)...fine if you have it in the right format and from the correct suppliers ...apparently! we could change attitudes at the drop of a hat with better education and availability of softer drugs!...u can buy glue from any supermarket remember!...its a choice...people who continually get wasted need proper help and guidance and people should be given the responsibility and information they need to make informed choices.. its the hypocrisy of the state that leads to this...zero tolerance doesn't work as proved!.. put the cards on the table and give the people the help they really need, change minds and opinions, fashion and culture and the whole world would be a better place..nt to mention all those who drink every night!...I take nothing now for my state (apart from ciggys for shame!) and see the world a lot clearer and for what it really is! and its really shocking! Acceptability and availability are the main driving force behind drug culture and the words legal/illegal should never be used again..it gives it a feeling of acceptability rather than highlighting the need for change and counselling for all those involved including legal drugs, such as alcohol! ......(and send them to Afghanistan please your murderous views are sickening even for the brave who defend this country its a disgrace you even suggest it! and ban...what does that mean?..it helps no-one!) Ask Sense
  • Score: 0

4:55pm Thu 26 Jun 14

K-78 says...

I live near the area and if it isn't drinking in Goodland Gardens off Clarence Street, it's litter in Frenchweir Park or stoners/drug users under the Third Way bridge. The problem is not enough regular police patrols to tidy up the town and not enough support services (mandatory or voluntary) to help those unfortunate enough to turn to drinking/drugs as a solution.

We have a beautiful town blighted by litter, alcoholics, non-Big Issue beggars, and betting shops. Only a few brave members of the public try to make a difference as they face a real risk of serious verbal or actual physical abuse. Police - do your job, Taunton is becoming a ghetto to successful Bridgwater!
I live near the area and if it isn't drinking in Goodland Gardens off Clarence Street, it's litter in Frenchweir Park or stoners/drug users under the Third Way bridge. The problem is not enough regular police patrols to tidy up the town and not enough support services (mandatory or voluntary) to help those unfortunate enough to turn to drinking/drugs as a solution. We have a beautiful town blighted by litter, alcoholics, non-Big Issue beggars, and betting shops. Only a few brave members of the public try to make a difference as they face a real risk of serious verbal or actual physical abuse. Police - do your job, Taunton is becoming a ghetto to successful Bridgwater! K-78
  • Score: 36

5:28pm Thu 26 Jun 14

madcow says...

K-78 wrote:
I live near the area and if it isn't drinking in Goodland Gardens off Clarence Street, it's litter in Frenchweir Park or stoners/drug users under the Third Way bridge. The problem is not enough regular police patrols to tidy up the town and not enough support services (mandatory or voluntary) to help those unfortunate enough to turn to drinking/drugs as a solution.

We have a beautiful town blighted by litter, alcoholics, non-Big Issue beggars, and betting shops. Only a few brave members of the public try to make a difference as they face a real risk of serious verbal or actual physical abuse. Police - do your job, Taunton is becoming a ghetto to successful Bridgwater!
dont forget the annoying street preachers too
[quote][p][bold]K-78[/bold] wrote: I live near the area and if it isn't drinking in Goodland Gardens off Clarence Street, it's litter in Frenchweir Park or stoners/drug users under the Third Way bridge. The problem is not enough regular police patrols to tidy up the town and not enough support services (mandatory or voluntary) to help those unfortunate enough to turn to drinking/drugs as a solution. We have a beautiful town blighted by litter, alcoholics, non-Big Issue beggars, and betting shops. Only a few brave members of the public try to make a difference as they face a real risk of serious verbal or actual physical abuse. Police - do your job, Taunton is becoming a ghetto to successful Bridgwater![/p][/quote]dont forget the annoying street preachers too madcow
  • Score: 15

5:41pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Ask Sense says...

sorry I believe in helping and homing people rather than ostracising them and having them shot and I don't do drugs! I knew it would be an unpopular viewpoint but seriously what are the real options! lets talk reality rather than quippy one liners...(although K78 I couldn't agree more. I just worry moving people on just pushes the problems else ware! everyone deserves a peaceful place to live not just one town over another!) we need solutions and answers long term not just peoples personal feelings towards the problem.
sorry I believe in helping and homing people rather than ostracising them and having them shot and I don't do drugs! I knew it would be an unpopular viewpoint but seriously what are the real options! lets talk reality rather than quippy one liners...(although K78 I couldn't agree more. I just worry moving people on just pushes the problems else ware! everyone deserves a peaceful place to live not just one town over another!) we need solutions and answers long term not just peoples personal feelings towards the problem. Ask Sense
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Thu 26 Jun 14

banthebias says...

Oh Dear. ANOTHER terribly written and biased article by the journalist Phil Hill. This guy is a joke. How about you actually write a balanced article for once..........?!
Oh Dear. ANOTHER terribly written and biased article by the journalist Phil Hill. This guy is a joke. How about you actually write a balanced article for once..........?! banthebias
  • Score: -68

5:52pm Thu 26 Jun 14

banthebias says...

Ask Sense wrote:
they ASSUME its legal drugs! more shocking that they found a public toilet to do it in as most have been torn down! shocking they don't have a home to go too as otherwise they would be there! but we sweep the real issues under the carpet as soon as the word drugs comes into play!...and whats this legality thing?!?! it just implies that its fine and ok for people to do..so much for keeping us safe big brother hey! funny old world as opium was not only legal but widely used and excepted 100 years ago, you could buy it from shops people used it to get their babys to sleep..oh and that prescription medication, codine morphine etc used by the medical industry(made from opium derivatives)...fine if you have it in the right format and from the correct suppliers ...apparently! we could change attitudes at the drop of a hat with better education and availability of softer drugs!...u can buy glue from any supermarket remember!...its a choice...people who continually get wasted need proper help and guidance and people should be given the responsibility and information they need to make informed choices.. its the hypocrisy of the state that leads to this...zero tolerance doesn't work as proved!.. put the cards on the table and give the people the help they really need, change minds and opinions, fashion and culture and the whole world would be a better place..nt to mention all those who drink every night!...I take nothing now for my state (apart from ciggys for shame!) and see the world a lot clearer and for what it really is! and its really shocking! Acceptability and availability are the main driving force behind drug culture and the words legal/illegal should never be used again..it gives it a feeling of acceptability rather than highlighting the need for change and counselling for all those involved including legal drugs, such as alcohol! ......(and send them to Afghanistan please your murderous views are sickening even for the brave who defend this country its a disgrace you even suggest it! and ban...what does that mean?..it helps no-one!)
I couldn't agree more. It's good to see some sensible debate and suggestions on here. The Somerset Gazette clearly does not feel it has any duty to report the truth, just biased scare stories in order to remove any chance of sensible discussion or debate.

If a person is repeatedly abusing drugs then that person needs help. Banning the drug helps in no way what-so-ever apart from making it appear as though the government are doing something helpful (which they aren't, just making the problem worse). If the government really did care about people in this country then there would be decent education about drugs, a change in the current outdated drug laws and a support network for the people that abuse drugs and need help.
[quote][p][bold]Ask Sense[/bold] wrote: they ASSUME its legal drugs! more shocking that they found a public toilet to do it in as most have been torn down! shocking they don't have a home to go too as otherwise they would be there! but we sweep the real issues under the carpet as soon as the word drugs comes into play!...and whats this legality thing?!?! it just implies that its fine and ok for people to do..so much for keeping us safe big brother hey! funny old world as opium was not only legal but widely used and excepted 100 years ago, you could buy it from shops people used it to get their babys to sleep..oh and that prescription medication, codine morphine etc used by the medical industry(made from opium derivatives)...fine if you have it in the right format and from the correct suppliers ...apparently! we could change attitudes at the drop of a hat with better education and availability of softer drugs!...u can buy glue from any supermarket remember!...its a choice...people who continually get wasted need proper help and guidance and people should be given the responsibility and information they need to make informed choices.. its the hypocrisy of the state that leads to this...zero tolerance doesn't work as proved!.. put the cards on the table and give the people the help they really need, change minds and opinions, fashion and culture and the whole world would be a better place..nt to mention all those who drink every night!...I take nothing now for my state (apart from ciggys for shame!) and see the world a lot clearer and for what it really is! and its really shocking! Acceptability and availability are the main driving force behind drug culture and the words legal/illegal should never be used again..it gives it a feeling of acceptability rather than highlighting the need for change and counselling for all those involved including legal drugs, such as alcohol! ......(and send them to Afghanistan please your murderous views are sickening even for the brave who defend this country its a disgrace you even suggest it! and ban...what does that mean?..it helps no-one!)[/p][/quote]I couldn't agree more. It's good to see some sensible debate and suggestions on here. The Somerset Gazette clearly does not feel it has any duty to report the truth, just biased scare stories in order to remove any chance of sensible discussion or debate. If a person is repeatedly abusing drugs then that person needs help. Banning the drug helps in no way what-so-ever apart from making it appear as though the government are doing something helpful (which they aren't, just making the problem worse). If the government really did care about people in this country then there would be decent education about drugs, a change in the current outdated drug laws and a support network for the people that abuse drugs and need help. banthebias
  • Score: -68

6:10pm Thu 26 Jun 14

T_12345 says...

madcow wrote:
K-78 wrote:
I live near the area and if it isn't drinking in Goodland Gardens off Clarence Street, it's litter in Frenchweir Park or stoners/drug users under the Third Way bridge. The problem is not enough regular police patrols to tidy up the town and not enough support services (mandatory or voluntary) to help those unfortunate enough to turn to drinking/drugs as a solution.

We have a beautiful town blighted by litter, alcoholics, non-Big Issue beggars, and betting shops. Only a few brave members of the public try to make a difference as they face a real risk of serious verbal or actual physical abuse. Police - do your job, Taunton is becoming a ghetto to successful Bridgwater!
dont forget the annoying street preachers too
And while we are at it we can't forget to mention the annoying kids going around being happy on the skateboards and bmx's the annoying old people that walk too slow infront of you and it's hard to get past them, the annoying sound that bus is making at the bus station, those pesky little street dancers, that annoying road works up the road. LETS COMPLAIN ABOUT IT!!!!!!. People lighten up your taking too much notice of things. Be happy. :)
[quote][p][bold]madcow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]K-78[/bold] wrote: I live near the area and if it isn't drinking in Goodland Gardens off Clarence Street, it's litter in Frenchweir Park or stoners/drug users under the Third Way bridge. The problem is not enough regular police patrols to tidy up the town and not enough support services (mandatory or voluntary) to help those unfortunate enough to turn to drinking/drugs as a solution. We have a beautiful town blighted by litter, alcoholics, non-Big Issue beggars, and betting shops. Only a few brave members of the public try to make a difference as they face a real risk of serious verbal or actual physical abuse. Police - do your job, Taunton is becoming a ghetto to successful Bridgwater![/p][/quote]dont forget the annoying street preachers too[/p][/quote]And while we are at it we can't forget to mention the annoying kids going around being happy on the skateboards and bmx's the annoying old people that walk too slow infront of you and it's hard to get past them, the annoying sound that bus is making at the bus station, those pesky little street dancers, that annoying road works up the road. LETS COMPLAIN ABOUT IT!!!!!!. People lighten up your taking too much notice of things. Be happy. :) T_12345
  • Score: -5

6:40pm Thu 26 Jun 14

RosieSparkle says...

I have to ask what kind of "safe" and "legal" recreational product requires you to INJECT it?!?!?! That alone should set off the alarm bells.
I have to ask what kind of "safe" and "legal" recreational product requires you to INJECT it?!?!?! That alone should set off the alarm bells. RosieSparkle
  • Score: 26

7:55am Fri 27 Jun 14

Freespeech?. says...

This morning on my way to work I found a young gentleman asleep in the hedge. At first I wasn't sure if he was alive or dead so I spoke loudly to see if he would wake up or not. He did wake and I asked him if was ok. His answer was that he'd been in the pub and was too drunk to make it home.
Ban alcohol, ban pubs.
This morning on my way to work I found a young gentleman asleep in the hedge. At first I wasn't sure if he was alive or dead so I spoke loudly to see if he would wake up or not. He did wake and I asked him if was ok. His answer was that he'd been in the pub and was too drunk to make it home. Ban alcohol, ban pubs. Freespeech?.
  • Score: -21

2:12pm Fri 27 Jun 14

nat_11 says...

The daily mail have pinched your article - Tauntons got talent ????? Na Tauntons got scum
The daily mail have pinched your article - Tauntons got talent ????? Na Tauntons got scum nat_11
  • Score: 12

8:31pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Monument says...

Yet again the SCG is producing a non story. These intoxicants are legal - end of story.

Please can you in order to show no bias and for balance print pictures of those in and around the town centre on Saturday night **** out of their brains slumped in the street.
Yet again the SCG is producing a non story. These intoxicants are legal - end of story. Please can you in order to show no bias and for balance print pictures of those in and around the town centre on Saturday night **** out of their brains slumped in the street. Monument
  • Score: -13

10:15pm Fri 27 Jun 14

tillboy says...

i think we should all just protest out side the bridge street shop to ban all highs. and the pubs. i dont drink or take drugs lives a better with out.
i think we should all just protest out side the bridge street shop to ban all highs. and the pubs. i dont drink or take drugs lives a better with out. tillboy
  • Score: 6

1:44pm Sat 28 Jun 14

GreatOdin'sRaven says...

nat_11 wrote:
The daily mail have pinched your article - Tauntons got talent ????? Na Tauntons got scum
Funny how this article disappeared and then came back with all the original comments removed.
[quote][p][bold]nat_11[/bold] wrote: The daily mail have pinched your article - Tauntons got talent ????? Na Tauntons got scum[/p][/quote]Funny how this article disappeared and then came back with all the original comments removed. GreatOdin'sRaven
  • Score: 0

3:26pm Sun 29 Jun 14

Captain Crazy says...

nat_11 wrote:
The daily mail have pinched your article - Tauntons got talent ????? Na Tauntons got scum
Nat, isn't that an annoying little insect?
[quote][p][bold]nat_11[/bold] wrote: The daily mail have pinched your article - Tauntons got talent ????? Na Tauntons got scum[/p][/quote]Nat, isn't that an annoying little insect? Captain Crazy
  • Score: -13

5:18pm Sun 29 Jun 14

nat_11 says...

Captain Crazy wrote:
nat_11 wrote:
The daily mail have pinched your article - Tauntons got talent ????? Na Tauntons got scum
Nat, isn't that an annoying little insect?
it appears it is also the most interesting thing on this page to you ! Thankyou
[quote][p][bold]Captain Crazy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]nat_11[/bold] wrote: The daily mail have pinched your article - Tauntons got talent ????? Na Tauntons got scum[/p][/quote]Nat, isn't that an annoying little insect?[/p][/quote]it appears it is also the most interesting thing on this page to you ! Thankyou nat_11
  • Score: 8

1:42pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Love Your Job says...

Well if I've learnt anything from reading all of this, it's that a lot of people cannot write a sentence correctly.
WHY does the Gazette write random words in capitals AND USE random speech marks throughout THE article?
Also whatever you do, do not criticise the Gazette or they will clearly get al their staff to score your comment with a thumbs down.

Gazette, please invest in a proof reader rather than using your website as a blogging site.
Well if I've learnt anything from reading all of this, it's that a lot of people cannot write a sentence correctly. WHY does the Gazette write random words in capitals AND USE random speech marks throughout THE article? Also whatever you do, do not criticise the Gazette or they will clearly get al their staff to score your comment with a thumbs down. Gazette, please invest in a proof reader rather than using your website as a blogging site. Love Your Job
  • Score: 7

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