Southport school kids are getting illegally high 

Teenagers are allegedly using the former Birkdale Deaf School as a meeting place to take illegal highs.

An investigation has discovered that a number of pupils believed to be from Greenbank and Birkdale, have been entering the derelict Lancaster Road building after class where, it is claimed, they then ingest nitrous oxide from canisters to get high.

Ingesting nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is a craze that, until recently, was branded as a form of ‘legal high.’

However since new laws came into effect in May, the sale and distribution of the canisters for human consumption has been banned in the UK.

During the investigation, discovered at least ten used canisters and a number of used balloons on the property.

Residents initially contacted our reporter after they grew weary of seeing students constantly break into the site.

When they challenged the teenagers, objects were thrown, it is claimed.

A concerned resident, who did not want to be identified, told our reporter: “It has been an issue for a while that the BirkdaleDeaf School is a site where people love to trespass but it has now escalated out of control.

“We are now at the stage where pupils from Greenbank and Birkdale, still in their uniforms after school, are climbing over the fences and going onto the site – which is dangerous enough because the building is decayed and derelict.

“But lately they have taken to the craze of ingesting those nitrous oxide canisters. In my ignorance I thought they were stink bombs but on closer inspection it turned out to be ‘hippie crack’ – the now illegal high.

ots-high“I’ve given the evidence to Merseyside Police but they say they are powerless and that it’s down to the owners of the site to do something about it.”

During our investigation we also uncovered discarded bottles of alcohol and graffiti.

Dukes ward councillor Tony Dawson, said: “I have had conversations with the local PCSO who is seriously distracted by the antisocial behaviour on this site – and have raised the matter with his superiors of this urgent issue.

“The only sensible way forward with this site, given the apparent lackadaisical-at-best attitude of the owners, is to serve a Repairs Notice under Section 48 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, setting out, in full detail, the repairs needed for proper preservation of the listed building – with the clear and genuine notice to the owners that any failure to comply completely with these instructions will lead to Compulsory Purchase of the site.

“Obviously, given the Council’s present cash position, it would make sense to try to secure a potential partner for development of the site appropriately in advance of any such move.”

Neighbourhood inspector Graham Fisher said: “Antisocial behaviour is not acceptable and I want to reassure the community that we will continue to target individuals and any properties which continue to cause problems.

“I would encourage any members of the community who have any information to call us.”

Our reporter has approached both Birkdale and Greenbank High for comment.

Greenbank High Headteacher Ian Raikes said: “We were made aware by a member of the public who has also contacted the police that pupils were on the site, however no drug taking was mentioned.

“We immediately addressed this concern with pupils through assemblies which included advice for pupils on not visiting the site or putting themselves in danger.”


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