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Psycho-active Substances (e.g. Nitrous Oxide) PSPO

We introduced a borough-wide PSPO which makes it an offence to use nitrous oxide (or other psychoactive substances) and engage in antisocial behaviour, which is a concern for residents across the borough.

Misuse of nitrous oxide is associated with increased antisocial behaviour including littering, noise nuisance and vandalism, all of which are detrimental to residents’ quality of life and feelings of safety. Use of nitrous oxide is also a health concern and has other associated harms.

The order also sets out that:

  • Persons within this area who breach the order shall surrender any psychoactive substances (e.g. nitrous oxide) in his/her possession to an authorised person.

The decision to introduce the PSPO follows a full consultation, where we invited views from anyone living, working or visiting Tower Hamlets, along with local partners and stakeholders. From the consultation, 98% of respondents were in favour of introducing a PSPO and felt there was an issue with nitrous oxide and antisocial behaviour in the borough.

Consequences of breaching the PSPO

The order will be enforced by officers from the Metropolitan Police and council officers.

Officers will engage with anyone in breach of the PSPO, explaining the order and encouraging them to stop engaging in antisocial behaviour. Enforcement will be a last resort, with officers able to issue a fixed penalty notice of £100 or prosecute individuals, which can carry a fine of up to £1,000 at court.

We will use intelligence, CCTV, and neighbourhood tasking to identify problem hotspots, where enforcement officers will be deployed.

Download a copy of the PSPO