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Thousands of nitrous oxide capsules taken off the streets of Cardiff

2424 capsules of nitrous oxide have been taken off the streets of Cardiff yesterday, through a successful forfeiture order which was granted by Cardiff Magistrates’ Court.

Nitrous oxide – often referred to as laughing gas – is only permitted and legal if it is used legitimately, either in medical procedures where it is used for pain relief or in the catering industry, where the gas is used to aerate cream to make foam.

Cllr Michael, Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and the Environment at Cardiff Council said: “Unfortunately the nitrous oxide canisters, which are typically sold for £1 each, are being miss-used by people inhaling the gas – often through balloons – to get a ‘high’ and then the silver canisters are often discarded as litter in parks, open spaces and streets across the capital.

Mufeed Mohammed Ali, 33, from Coed Cae Street, Grangetown, Cardiff, attended Cardiff Magistrates’ Court yesterday and gave his consent that both the capsules and equipment used to inhale the gas could be destroyed.

In interview, prior to the court hearing, Mr Ali explained to officers from the Shared Regulatory Service that the nitrous oxide capsules were found in the store room of his shop in Clifton Street when he bought the property recently.

With no evidence to the contrary, the Council accepted Mr Ali’s position, so the Council did not proceed with a criminal conviction against him.

Cllr Michael continued: “When officers from the Shared Regulatory Services raided the shop in July 2019, these capsules were confiscated under the General Products Safety Regulations. We do have the powers to do this, so if anyone has any information on any shops in Cardiff selling these products, please let us know and we will follow up on any information received.

“I also would like to remind all shop owners who are selling illegal items that we have a very active trading standards team who work on all intelligence received and if the evidence allows, we always take these matters to court to take harmful goods off the streets with a view to prosecute those who are offending.”