A CONCERNED litter picker was left shocked after finding a knife and a cluster of illegal drug canisters where a group of young boys regularly congregate.

The 48-year-old resident, who has asked not to be named, lives in Clacton, and takes to the streets once a month to clean-up any disregarded rubbish.

On her last three expeditions, the salon worker has consistently found a worrying amount of dumped metal canisters, usually in the same part of Vista Road.

The small ‘bulbs’ are used to contain nitrous oxide - otherwise known as laughing gas - which has become a popular recreational drug in recent years.

The inhalation of the chemical compound - usually administered using a balloon - is illegal, and it remains banned under the Psychoactive Substances Act.

According to the worried litter picker, the area in which she discovers the drug paraphernalia is often occupied by a group of young boys.

Her concerns for their welfare has now increased, however, after her latest litter pick resulted in her find a potentially dangerous knife, as well as much canisters.

“At first I just thought kids are kids, but when I found the knife, I became very concerned,” she said.

“This is why I have tried to raise awareness of the issue online, because I am worried about this, for both those kids and other people.

“I don’t have children myself, but I do have dogs, and I would not like to see them get hurt.”

The discovery of the bladed weapon comes just a matter of weeks after two people, both in their 20s, were robbed at knifepoint in Vista Road, while playing football.

During the incident, the pair were approached by four young men, described as being aged between 17 and 25, before being threatened with violence.

They were then forced to hand over their bags, one of which was a Louis Vuitton sling bag estimated be worth an eye-watering three-figure sum.

The victims also had to give up some expensive Airpod earphones and a pair Nike Air Max trainers to the attackers, who were believed to all be mixed race.