THE SPREAD of headshops around the country needs to be tackled, Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy has said.
The stores selling so-called 'legal highs' have become the focus of criticism in recent weeks as more and more outlets open up.
In Roscommon, protesters demonstrated outside the county council building yesterday in opposition to a headshop, which began trading recently.
In Dublin, two of the stores were targeted by suspected arsonists, with one premises being burnt down and another seriously damaged.
Mr Murphy described the shops as a threat, saying they have become more popular as people seek cheaper highs.
However, he said gardai have difficulties with the response by some people to the stores, particularly in Dublin.
Mr Murphy added that he has been working closely with Drugs Minister John Curran, who is looking at introducing legislation to deal with the headshops.
He was speaking at the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Co Cavan.