Fears over large nitrous oxide cannisters found in Gospel Oak

Large nitrous oxide cylinders often picked up in Gospel Oak

Large nitrous oxide cylinders often picked up in Gospel Oak - Credit: Mick Farrant

Gospel Oak residents have raised concerns that youngsters are doing themselves serious harm, with large nitrous oxide cylinders and small cannisters found discarded in the area.

Mick Farrant, who is involved with a gardening group in Lismore Circus, took his concerns to a Gospel Oak Safer Neighbourhood Panel meeting.

Nitrous oxide, more popularly known as "laughing gas" is a popular drug often inhaled at clubs, parties and festivals.

Common side effects include shivering, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, fatigue, and dizziness.

Prolonged use can cause memory loss, incontinence, depression, and limb spasms.

Mick said: "Our record was 245 in one day about six months ago but we still find the odd one. The problem is the big cylinders. 

"Where they get them I don't know. Do they sell them on the internet to anybody?  

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"In small letters on them it says to call an ambulance if you inhale it but it doesn't tell you not to inhale them. 

"I really do think they are a danger to kids."

Chris Fagg, chair of the Gospel Oak Safer Neighbourhood Panel, said: "The key issue is that young people, their parents, shopkeepers, schools and Camden Council should be aware of the potentially lethal effects of these mega cans which can all-too-easily be bought online."

Cllr Jenny Mulholland, who represents Gospel Oak added: "We don't think people understand the health risks.

"It's got legitimate use so legal to buy but not it's legal to use it as a drug.

"There are so many cannisters in Lismore Circus and around Gospel Oak, all over Camden really. 

"Realistically we didn't know what to do and thought raising awareness would be a good start."

A Met spokesperson said local officers are aware of concerns from the community in and around Lismore Circus about the use of nitrous oxide and associated antisocial behaviour.

"The local Safer Neighbourhood Team will continue to patrol the area and enforce legislation where appropriate," they said.

"Any residents who have concerns should report these to the Met, either online via our website or through 101.

"People can also report issues to the local authority."