Association of Police and Crime Commissioners
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APCC leads comment on plans to ban the sale and use of nitrous oxide

APCC Addictions and Substance Misuse Leads, APCCs Joy Allen and David Sidwick respond to the announcement that the Government is to ban the sale and use of nitrous oxide

“We are delighted that the Government has listened to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and is to ban the sale and use of nitrous oxide. 

“This follows a campaign led by our Addictions and Substance Misuse Portfolio over the last year, reflecting the concerns PCCs hear from the public about the impact of nitrous oxide use on public spaces in their communities, and the health risks to children and young people. 

“Small silver cannisters are now a frequent sight on our streets and at recreational areas in our communities and members of the public are rightly concerned about the impact of the use of this drug on anti-social behaviour and the risks to those who consume it. In addition, with the support of the APCC Road Safety Portfolio, we have also been highlighting evidence linking use of nitrous oxide with needless deaths and serious injury on our roads, something we are determined to tackle.  

“We hope this sends a clear message to anyone selling nitrous oxide to be used in this way that this is a form of drug dealing, and one that largely targets young people. It must stop and this announcement is a huge step in the right direction. 

“While we welcome the Government’s decision, we know that enforcement on its own is never the answer to drug misuse. Local public health teams should take this opportunity to take stock of the impact of this issue locally and to consider their role in reducing nitrous oxide misuse by working with their local Combatting Drugs Partnership, including the need for more information and better education about the harms that it can cause.”

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