Fears St Albans churchyard is being used for legal high parties
- Credit: Archant
There are fears that an ancient St Albans churchyard is being used as a meeting place by young people inhaling ‘hippy crack’.
A St Albans man, who does not wish to be named, warned: “It would appear St Peter’s churchyard is being used by young people to meet to inhale ‘legal highs’.
“Walking through the churchyard [last Wednesday] I noticed numerous empty canisters of nitrous oxide scattered around the new wooden seating in the south east corner of the yard, behind St Albans Museum.”
He has concerns that the site, a place of worship for over 1,000 years, is being used by “thrill-seeking teenagers for legal high parties”.
Moira Dean, church manager, said: “We are aware that canisters are being used and when we see them, we are informing the police.
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“Officers are regularly walking through the grounds, but there isn’t much we can do to stop it.
“We see the canisters every now and then.”
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A spokesman for Herts Police said that St Albans police are not aware of the use of nitrous oxide being a major problem at any particular locations in the city, including St Peter’s churchyard.
However Detective Superintendent Paul Maghie warned: “This gas can be extremely dangerous and potentially fatal so I would strongly advise against inhaling it.
“I would also ask parents to warn children about the dangers posed by this gas.
“By inhaling nitrous oxide you are taking serious risks not only with your health, but with your life.”
The Government last Friday (29) announced it was hoping to protect young people from the dangers of so-called legal highs, and target those profiting from their trade, with the Psychoactive Substances Bill.
Its aim is to prevent further deaths by prohibiting and disrupting the production, distribution, sale and supply of new psychoactive substances – and the ban will extend to the sale of nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas or hippy crack.
The blanket ban will give police greater powers to tackle the trade, as many young people have been badly affected by such legal highs.