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Day of action to tackle ASB linked to nitrous oxide

nox day of action group shot

Extra patrols across Tower Hamlets took place yesterday evening (Thursday 18 November) in a bid to educate and enforce a Public Spaces Protection Order, which prohibits antisocial behaviour associated with nitrous oxide use. 

The rounds took place as part of the council’s No Laughing Matter Campaign, a partnership approach to tackle nitrous oxide misuse in the borough.  

Cllr Sirajul Islam, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, joined yesterday’s patrols around Boundary Estate with the council’s Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers, Antisocial Behaviour Team and local police.  

The area is reported to be particularly affected by nitrous oxide and antisocial behaviour like noise nuisance, littering and vandalism due to the night-time economy around Shoreditch.  

While the PSPO was put in place to discourage people from conducting antisocial behaviour, officers can enforce when necessary.  

Yesterday, two fines were issued to people for breaching the PSPO adding to the 33 fixed penalty notices issued since it was introduced. The day of action also resulted in more than 15 ASB warnings being issued, 12 stop and searches and three arrests for a knife point robbery suspect, drugs supply and bike theft.  

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: 

“We’re serious about tackling antisocial behaviour linked to nitrous oxide use and our PSPO helps us do just that.  

“This nitrous oxide operation with local police has given us an opportunity to speak to anyone in breach of the PSPO and encourage people to stop engaging in antisocial behaviour.  

“Enforcement is a last resort but it’s an important tool we can use to tackle the ASB associated with nitrous oxide use.” 

The council is using intelligence from partners, CCTV and neighbourhood tasking to identify problem areas, and is also encouraging residents to report antisocial behaviour linked to nitrous oxide use online. This will help to map antisocial behaviour hotspots, where enforcement officers will be deployed. 

The extra patrols were the first in a series of action days planned with local police to combat antisocial behaviour associated with nitrous oxide use. 

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

“Nitrous oxide and antisocial behaviour are very real problems in our borough, particularly in areas like those around Shoreditch where we get a lot of visitors from other parts of London and the country.  

“We’re working with our partners to educate around nitrous oxide and prevent it from becoming a problem.  

“I’d encourage everyone to report antisocial behaviour and littering of nitrous oxide canisters online so that we can make Tower Hamlets a cleaner and safer borough.”  

Inspector Ashley Rose, Met Police, said: 

“Nitrous Oxide and antisocial behaviour go hand-in-hand and has the potential to destroy lives. Operations like this provide the police and our partners to opportunity to safeguard the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of our communities through enforcement and diversion” 

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 Monday 22nd November 2021