Police arrest teenagers in Wigan over 'hippy crack' seizure

Some of the nitrous oxide canisters seized by police
Some of the nitrous oxide canisters seized by police

Police have arrested two teenagers on a Wigan car park who were suspected of supplying the notorious 'hippy crack'.

Patrolling officers in Ashton detained the two 19-year-olds, who were said to be acting suspiciously at an undisclosed location in the town.

Hundreds of nitrous oxide gas canisters, labelled as cream chargers, were seized from their vehicle, as the pair were arrested.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said that the officers suspected the teenagers had been attempting to supply the psychoactive substance, also known as laughing gas.

Later it was confirmed that the pair had been released under investigation.

Supplying the gas canisters is an offence under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.

The small silver pellets are legitimately sold in the catering trade as the accelerant in whipped cream containers.

Police and councillors have reported discovering hundreds of discarded canisters at several locations across the borough throughout 2017 and 2018.

The arrests come months after a Greater Manchester coroner spoke out over the effects of inhaling the nitrous oxide canisters earlier this year.

Twenty-three year-old Matthew Barnett was found dead in the bedroom of his Ashton home after abusing the substance.

Assistant coroner Timothy Brennand and the young man's father, Adrian Barnett, spoke out at his inquest in March to highlight the dangers of becoming involved in taking nitrous oxide.