A WARNING has been issued about the potentially fatal consequences for youths using nitrous oxide - also known as laughing gas.

It comes after a number of canisters were found in a park in Penarth.

When inhaled it removes oxygen from lungs and replaces it with nitrous oxide which can cause unconsciousness or even death.

Police and the Safer Vale Partnership have also warned mixing alcohol with nitrous oxide can be fatal.

Use can give a person a feeling of light headedness or euphoria.

A multi-agency partnership meeting was recently held to discuss anti-social behaviour at 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.

Vale council representative Gethin Robinson ADDED: “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.”

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.

Contact South Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.