This week I’ve called on Northamptonshire Police to take action over massive abuse of nitrous oxide in Northampton.

The move comes after I found boxes of canisters of the gas – also known as laughing gas and hippy crack – dumped in residential areas in the town.

In one quiet location I found two boxes and dozens of canisters littered in bushes beside a park. In another there were boxes tipped in the middle of a road. In another residents complained of finding the boxes pushed under bushes.

Nitrous oxide, which is used for some medicinal and food production purposes, came under the ambit of the Psychoactive Substances Act which banned the importing and sale for recreational purposes of substances that produce a psychoactive response. It has been linked to a number of fatalities, including deaths resulting from behaviour of people while high – like driving under the influence of the drug.

Previously I’ve found isolated canisters in parts of the town – most notably around the County Council’s HQ in Angel Square. However, what I’ve found now is on a different scale. It’s been boxes of the canisters shoved under bushes and strewn across pavements and parking places in what are otherwise quiet residential areas.

It’s dangerous for the young people involved, and it’s not fair on local residents who have to put up with anti-social behaviour of people high on the drug, and with the large numbers of metal canisters left littering the ground. The Police need to act to stop the abuse of the drug, and also to protect the peace for surrounding residents.”

I’ve written to the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire calling for action.

Contact Sally Keeble for press inquiries

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