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Community volunteers get serious about tackling laughing gas litter

Residents and volunteers from the local community joined forces in Wapping over the weekend to tackle littering left behind from nitrous oxide use.

The group joined Cllr Sirajul Islam, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers (THEOs) and the St Katherine and Wapping Ward Panel for a nitrous oxide-themed Big Clean Up on Saturday 30 October.

The litter-picking efforts come as the council relaunches its No Laughing Matter campaign, a partnership approach with local police and housing associations to tackle antisocial behaviour associated with nitrous oxide use in the borough.

The campaign will also be raising awareness of the health concerns and other associated harms from its misuse.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:

“We know nitrous oxide and the antisocial behaviour that is associated with its use are a major concern for our residents.

“Earlier this year, we introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which makes it an offence to use nitrous oxide and engage in antisocial behaviour, giving enforcement officers the power to issues fines where necessary.

“We’ve now relaunched our No Laughing Matter campaign to ramp up our efforts in tackling ASB and clearing up the canisters left behind, which are a blight on our streets.” 

Since it was introduced in May, the council’s PSPO to tackle the use of nitrous oxide linked to antisocial behaviour has allowed enforcement officers to issue more than 33 fines for nitrous oxide misuse, totalling around £3,300 Residents can now include nitrous when reporting antisocial behaviour online, which will help the council identify nitrous oxide hotspots and enforce against those breaching the PSPO.

Cllr Sirajul Islam, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:

“We remain as committed as ever in taking action against those who carry out antisocial behaviour which negatively impacts on residents’ lives.

“In our consultation, 98 per cent of residents were in favour of introducing a PSPO and felt there was an issue with nitrous oxide and antisocial behaviour in the borough.

“We are listening to these concerns, which is why we have relaunched our No Laughing Matter campaign to support our residents.”

Anyone who is concerned about a friend or relative, or who needs support themselves, can contact Health Spot ( for those aged 11-19 years old) on 020 3011 1333 or by emailing hello@wearespotlight.com.

RESET Tower Hamlets offers drug and alcohol treatment to resident aged 18 or over and support to family and friends who are concerned about someone’s drug and/or alcohol use. Call 020 3889 9510 or email reset@towerhamlets.cgl.org.uk.

To find out more about the No Laughing Matter Campaign, and to report littering and antisocial behaviour associated with its use. Please visit www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/nolaughingmatter
Posted on Tuesday 2nd November 2021