A WORRIED pensioner stumbled across evidence of people having taken potentially dangerous laughing gas.

Walter Grimsey, 94, discovered a discarded pile of nitrous oxide cannisters and pink balloons as he headed to tend his plot at the Blackheath allotments in Colchester on Wednesday morning.

The area off Finchingfield Way is also close to a children’s playground.

Mr Grimsey, who lives in nearby Pebmarsh Close and has been an allotment holder for some 60 years, said he was worried about his unpleasant discovery.

He said: “I reported it to the police and they are not the least bit interested.

“They told me unless there were people down there taking it there and then they could not do anything.

“I went down there at 9am and came back at lunchtime and they are still there, spread out with all the balloons dumped next to them.

“I believe nitrous oxide can be a dangerous gas.

“Clearly they are sat in the garages and filling up the balloons with the nitrous.

“Then afterwards they are leaving their rubbish behind.

“I want people to know it is a danger.”

Nitrous oxide is classed as a psychoactive substance but is not illegal to possess because it can be bought legally in equipment such as chargers for cream whippers.

Users inhale it from a balloon and can then feel euphoric and end up in fits of giggles, hence the nickname laughing gas.

However, drug charities have warned risks of use can include dizziness and fainting while people can often struggle to determine how much is safe to inhale.

Some 15 separate cannisters were discovered strewn near the garages yesterday along with pink balloons.

Mr Grimsey said he was concerned people might have been driving away from the scene under the influence of the gas which could have been potentially dangerous for passersby.

He added: “They are they are probably getting here by parking up in their cars near the garages and taking the stuff.

“Then they might be driving off and it can be really dangerous.”

The remnants were reported to Colchester Council on Wednesday with officers scheduling them to be removed.