Dumped: Hundreds of nitrous oxide capsules found in Newport park

More than 300 empty canisters used to inhale nitrous oxide were found dumped in a park in Newport.

The nitrous oxide canisters were found in one of Newport's parks
The nitrous oxide canisters were found in one of Newport's parks

Visitors to Norbroom Park spotted the giant pile of capsules which had been dumped there.

Nearby residents reported a sound of broken glass when the capsules were dumped on the park on Saturday night, but it was the sound of hundreds of the metal pieces hitting the floor.

Two men were said to have got out of a car and dumped the canisters on the park.

Newport's mayor, Councillor Peter Scott, said parents had become concerned over the rising amount of canisters in the town.

He thought the dumped canisters were a hit-back to an anti nitrous oxide campaign led by fellow councillor Thomas Janke.

"It makes no sense for there to have been this many," Councillor Scott said.

"There are 300 capsules – the bag is so heavy I can barely pick it up.

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"Someone has decided to throw them all over the park to make a point, but we're not sure what that point is. I think it's a reaction to the campaign from Councillor Janke. It was a carefully thought out response to him. Someone is saying something.

"I've pieced together bits and pieces from nearby residents and have handed that information to the police."

Councillor Janke started his campaign after seeing more and more canisters across both Newport's parks and its car parks.

Hallucinations

It is an increasing issue across Shropshire, with canisters being found across the county.

Tony Mercer, West Midlands health and wellbeing programme manager for Public Health England, warned using nitrous oxide had serious risks. Effects could include dizziness, confusion, loss of co-ordination, sound distortions and hallucinations. The substance has been linked to a number of deaths.

Councillor Scott said: "It must have been three or four months ago we started to see more of them. As time has gone on we've found more. We find them in play areas and on car parks, usually with balloons nearby.

"It's important that young people – and it is mostly young people using them – know what the issues are. There's been quite a few documented cases where people have had brain disease and all sorts of problems from taking these. I don't want any of our Newport people to have that happen. People should be certain before they use them."

The capsules will be collected by a scrap dealer and any money raised will go to Councillor Scott's Mayor's Appeal.

The appeal is currently raising money for a renovation of the Newport 1st Scout Hut and Newport Cottage Care.

"The upside of the capsules being dumped is that our local scrap dealer will donate the money to my mayor's appeal," Councillor Scott said.

"If my mayor's appeal benefits from that I'll accept the money with pleasure."

Anybody with information about the supply or import of nitrous oxide for human consumption can call 101.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org

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