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'Hippy Crack' laughing gas canisters found at Riverside car park

Community warden patrols around Boulters Lock will increase following the collection of about 300 used ‘hippy crack’ canisters in the popular visitor spot.

The find left nearby residents concerned that users of nitrous oxide, which is also known as laughing gas, could be driving in the area under its influence.

It is illegal to supply or import nitrous oxide for human consumption.

A nearby homeowner, who did not want to be identified, said three cars were parked up at the Boulters Lock car park on Saturday night and the occupants started inhaling the gas before driving off. A similar incident had happened the previous evening.

“It is a wider social problem,” the resident said. “They are taking this stuff in such quantity, they are driving around under its

influence.”

The resident believed a traffic accident was possible and added: “If you are high on anything you are not going to be able to gauge driving conditions very well.”

A council spokesman said: “Our community wardens have spoken to concerned residents and stepped up patrols. We will continue to liaise with police to address use of this drug and any anti-social behaviour or littering associated with it.”

Residents picked up about 300 canisters from the car park.

The Talk to Frank website, which publishes information about the health effects of drugs, states nitrous oxide – a colourless gas – can ‘make people feel euphoric and relaxed’ when inhaled. It can cause dizziness, affect judgement and slow the brain’s and body’s responses.

The website adds there is a risk of death due to a lack of oxygen associated with use, which is exacerbated when it is taken in an enclosed space or if a ‘substantial amount is rapidly used’.

The resident said: “It is not good for them and it’s not good for the neighbourhood.

“I would like to see them given a severe talking-to.”

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