Police and the Safer Vale Partnerships are warning youths not to inhale nitrous oxide.
Known as laughing gas nitrous oxide has several legitimate uses but when inhaled it can give a person a feeling of light headedness or euphoria. When inhaled, it removes oxygen from lungs and replaces it with nitrous oxide, this can cause unconsciousness or death due to a lack of oxygen.
Mixing alcohol with nitrous oxide can be fatal.
It is illegal, in England and Wales, for anyone to sell nitrous oxide to people under-18, if they think they are likely to be inhaling the nitrous oxide.
A multi-agency partnership meeting was recently held to discuss anti-social behaviour in Penarth in particular around Alexandra Park.
Sgt Julie Madoc-Smart said: “We are aware of issues involving nitrous oxide cartridges discarded around the park and have stepped up patrols while we continue to investigate.
“Not only is using nitrous oxide for anything other than its intended use extremely dangerous – it can even prove fatal – the anti-social behaviour associated with those inhaling it has a negative impact on those living and working in the area and it will not be tolerated.
“Anyone behaving in an anti-social manner in the park will received letters banning them from the park for 12 months. We will also be using anti-social behaviour legislation including dispersal orders to ban individuals from returning to the park for 48 hours.
“We will be visiting the parents of youths found using nitrous oxide as well as speaking to their schools.
“I’d like to encourage the public to continue reporting any concerns to us via 101 and I’d also like to remind retailers that it is an offence to sell nitrous oxide to anyone under 18 if they suspect it is likely to be used to inhale.”
Gethin Robinson, a representative for the Vale of Glamorgan Council said: “Nitrous oxide can cause dizziness or affect your judgement, which might make you act carelessly or dangerously and put you at risk of hurting yourself, particularly in an unsafe environment. We are working with Penarth officers to educate youths and take actions against those who are causing anti-social behaviour.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact South Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.