The Mancunion

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50,000 nitrous oxide canisters found at Fallowfield house

Over 50,000 laughing gas canisters have been confiscated by Greater Manchester Police at a house in Fallowfield


Greater Manchester Police officers executed a raid on a house in Fallowfield, uncovering more than 50,000 nitrous oxide canisters.

According to the ‘GMP Fallowfield, Withington, Levenshulme and Burnage’ Facebook page, “a warrant was conducted under Section 39 of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 in Fallowfield [on Thursday 26th January]. This warrant was executed following various intelligence submissions received via various sources including Crimestoppers.”

Whilst no other drugs were found at the address, “a significant number of items were seized, including what appears to be in excess of 50,000 nitrous oxide capsules.” Greater Manchester Police found 700 boxes, each containing at least 600 canisters, as well as “associated paraphernalia.” The sheer number of canisters is a clear indication of intent to sell.

Nitrous oxide, or ‘laughing gas,’ is a gas inhaled to produce feelings of euphoria and relaxation. It was first used for this purpose in the 19th century by the English chemist Humphry Davy. It is legitimately used in dentistry, engines and the production of whipped cream. A Tweet from Manchester Police even made reference to this, captioning a picture of the raid: “Not sure that’s for whipped cream…”

Under the May 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act, it is currently illegal to supply or import nitrous oxide for human consumption in the United Kingdom. Whilst simply taking and/or possessing the drug is technically legal, the Act was intended to make its procurement more difficult.

Mike Penning, a Crime and Policing minister, said of the Act: “Young people who take these substances [including nitrous oxide] are taking exceptional risks with their health and those who profit from their sale have a complete disregard for the potential consequences.”

No arrests were made at the house in Fallowfield but one person has voluntarily surrendered themselves for an interview. A multi-agency criminal investigation is now underway.