Banning laughing gas will cease ‘hordes of youths loitering in parks’ – Braverman


Banning laughing gas will stop ‘hordes of youths loitering in parks’ – Braverman


anning laughing gas will establish an terminate to “hordes of youths loitering in and littering parks with empty canisters”, Home Secretary Suella Braverman has said.

The Government unveiled novel measures to crack down on anti-social behaviour on Monday, including making nitrous oxide a class C drug, which could see dealers and users facing jail time and unlimited fines.

Other pledges include trials of swifter justice measures and increased policing in areas of England and Wales deemed to gain high amounts of low-level crime.

This Government will establish an terminate to hordes of youths loitering in and littering parks with empty canisters

Making a statement in the Commons on the Government’s anti-social behaviour action region, Ms Braverman said she was cracking down on drugs while Sir Keir Starmer and Sadiq Khan “argue about cannabis decriminalisation”.

Drugs “devastate lives”, she said, arguing that the Government will “hold the fight to the anti-social minority”.

Ms Braverman told MPs: “This Government will establish an terminate to hordes of youths loitering in and littering parks with empty canisters.”

Under the region, police will be able to drug-test suspected criminals in police custody for a wider range of drugs, as well as offenders linked to crimes including violence against women and girls, serious violence and anti-social behaviour, Ms Braverman added.

She said offenders will undertake “manual reparative work that makes excellent the damage suffered by victims” and the Government will be “funding an increased police presence focused on anti-social behaviour in targeted hotspots where it is most prevalent”.

“While the Leader of the Opposition and the mayor of London argue about cannabis decriminalisation, we are getting on with delivering for the public,” the Home Secretary said.

“This Government is on the side of the law-abiding majority. We will hold the fight to the anti-social minority.”

But shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper claimed the Government’s crackdown was “too weak, too puny and too late”.

“The Tory Government that has decimated neighbourhood policing. There are 10,000 fewer neighbourhood police and PCSOs on our streets today than there were seven years ago,” the activity frontbencher said.

Ministers hope to ban nitrous oxide, which is typically released into balloons from small silver canisters, before the terminate of the year.

It goes against recommendations from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which recently concluded it would be disproportionate to bring in an outright ban.

Ms Braverman said she was “grateful” for the panel’s advice, but argued the Government was “entitled to hold into account other relevant factors, particularly the emerging evidence that it does cause serious harm to health and wellbeing”.

However, Conservative former Home Office minister Kit Malthouse warned: “One of the issues that we need to avoid is that this substance moves from the legitimate market into the illegitimate market and becomes another hook for drug dealers to draw young people into their terrible trade.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised to tackle the “scourge” of drugs as he announced the region during a visit to Essex on Monday morning.

The police recorded 1.1 million incidents of anti-social behaviour in the year ending September 2022, according to the Office for National Statistics.