Police to ramp up patrols in Honiton park after empty ‘hippy crack’ canister boxes and used balloons are found

PUBLISHED: 14:45 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:29 28 September 2018

Empty capsule canisters like these (stock image) were found in a Honiton park. These capsules are also known to be misused as a form of 'legal high'. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 5989-44-11AW

Empty capsule canisters like these (stock image) were found in a Honiton park. These capsules are also known to be misused as a form of 'legal high'. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 5989-44-11AW

Archant

Police will be stepping up patrols after one officer discovered a dozen empty boxes of ‘hippy crack’ canisters and bottles of alcohol in a Honiton park.

PCSO Richard Shelton was walking around Allhallows on Tuesday (September 25) when he found the contraband behind the sport pavilion based there.

In total, the empty boxes would have contained 120 canisters containing nitrous oxide - known as laughing gas or ‘hippy crack’.

PCSO Shelton said: “When I was working in Exeter, we would find these all over the place.

“I thought the craze had died out, but maybe it’s only just come to Honiton.

“As well as the empty boxes, there were numerous smashed empty bottles of alcohol, which contained beer and cider.

“There were also a few discarded balloons, which is a telltale sign.”

PCSO Shelton said gives the user a short ‘high’.

He added: “It is quite concerning that youngsters in Honiton are getting involved in this type of behaviour.

“It is a dangerous and it’s been proven that some youngsters have died taking it, and others have become seriously ill because of inhaling from these containers.

“We will now be stepping up our patrols in the area.

“We think these youngsters have gone behind the pavilion where they thought they were out of view.

“I will make sure myself and my colleagues start to patrol the area more.”

PCSO Shelton said parents may not realise their children have inhaled the gas.

He said symptoms of prolonged use includes headaches and lethargy, adding: “In some cases, users can be physically sick, especially if they have taken alcohol as well. Hopefully, parents will be able to tell if their children are not quite right.”

Police in Honiton are continuing to crack down on anti-social behaviour, with a number of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs) having already been handed out to some youths.

The contract is a voluntary agreement between the person who is behaving antisocially and any other relevant people.

The main aim of an ABC is to help the person who is behaving antisocially to admit to their behaviour, understand how it affects other people, and stop.

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