Crawley Police have been forced into making an embarrassing series of apologies after seizing a haul of poppers they wrongly thought were now illegal under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, that came into effect on Thursday.
The force began the day by retweeting a post from Sussex Police notifying people that legal highs were now "not as legal as you thought".
It also replied to a number of tweets from members of the public, confirming that poppers "are now illegal".
A few hours later Crawley Police triumphantly posted a picture of two bags stuffed full of poppers that its officers had seized.
A caption on the tweet read: "First day, first seizure in Crawley by PC Goater. One and only one warning given." The message concluded with the hashtags, #nosecondchances and #poppersincluded.
The legal high was removed from the banned substances list, covered by the Act, in March, but clearly this development had not been passed on to Crawley Police.
Members of the public, however, were well informed. After one user flagged the issue, Crawley Police acknowledged that they needed to double check.
Fifteen minutes later Crawley Police admitted the poppers were seized in "error" but, also in "good faith".
The excuse didn't wash, and for a good chunk of the afternoon Crawley Police were forced to grovel.
Then plead for forgiveness.
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