'Hippy crack' users hit Honiton after canisters found in car park

PUBLISHED: 11:30 18 November 2015

Gas cartridges scattered on the ground in Honiton Tesco Car Park.

Gas cartridges scattered on the ground in Honiton Tesco Car Park.

A Herald reader recently came across the 'seven or eight' small metal canisters which contained nitrous oxide - or laughing gas - and equipment relating to its use in the town.

Police are set to ramp up patrols in Honiton after a Tesco shopper found small gas canisters in the store’s car park.

A Herald reader came across the ‘seven or eight’ small metal canisters which contained nitrous oxide – or laughing gas – and equipment relating to its use in the car park.

The gas is referred to by some as ‘hippy crack’.

Honiton PCSO Steve Mingo confirmed the town’s neighbourhood beat team had been made aware of the equipment, and said other areas in Honiton are also being used for the same purpose.

He added that the police intend to work in partnership with Tesco to deter the behaviour, adding: “Nitrous oxide is a gas with several legitimate medical uses. However, it is not intended to be abused in the way we are seeing here.

“There is a rising trend among young people to inhale the substance which can present several health risks, particularly when mixed with alcohol or other drugs.

“Risks include unconsciousness or death from a lack of oxygen as well as accidents due to how the substance affects your judgement. We would encourage people, particularly teenagers, to stand their ground against peer pressure and say no to the use of the substance.”

Officers will be patrolling the area at different times of day throughout the next few weeks to deter antisocial behaviour.

A Tesco spokesman said: “Colleagues are doing additional monitoring of the car park to ensure it stays tidy. We are also supporting the local police in their efforts to deter antisocial behaviour.”

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