PCC Joy Allen welcomes evidenced based recommendations to inform drug policy on Nitrous Oxide

News
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October 8, 2021

Last month Home Secretary Priti Patel ordered a review into the effects of nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as ‘laughing gas’. During 2019/20 over a half a million 16-24 year old’s, just under 10%, reported taking the drug, leading to Patel asking for the review.

Joy Allen is the joint Association of Police and Crime Commissioner’s (APCC) lead for Addictions and Substance Misuse along with PCC Dave Sidwick.

Joy Allen, Police and Crime Commissioner said “The sight of little silver cannisters left strewn in our parks and other places has become an increasing annoyance in our communities. Police and Crime Commissioners are united in our efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour and make our public spaces feel safe and welcoming for everyone.

“Of even greater concern is the damage that recreational use of nitrous oxide is doing to our young people, with more than half a million of them estimated to have used the drug in 2019/20. We already know that use of nitrous oxide can cause long-term health problems, and we are worried about it being a ‘gateway drug’ into even more serious issues.

“As with all substance abuse policy, what is needed is a mature discussion about the best way to protect our vulnerable people. As such we welcome the Home Secretary inviting the ACMD [Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs] to draw up evidence-based recommendations.”

Durham Councillor for West Auckland,  Rob Yorke said “We have seen multiple issues stemming from Nitrous Oxide misuse in our area. Local residents flagged up this issue earlier this year and we are delighted that our PCC Joy Allen has taken our concerns seriously and is raising them at a national level. Hopefully the Government will listen to our concerns and take appropriate action”.

The Commissioner has also been on BBC Radio 4’s programme You and Yours to talk about the hidden harm that can be caused by nitrous oxide and the importance of evidence-based recommendations. You can listen to this on www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000zv87

Tackling and preventing anti-social behaviour is a top priority for Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen. The PCC is committed to reducing the levels of anti-social behaviour responsible for causing local residents of County Durham and Darlington concern and she is determined to work with partners to develop solutions to local problems.

If you’d like to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour, you can report anonymously via Crimestoppers 0800 555 111. You can contact Durham County Council on 03000 260000 or https://doitonline.durham.gov.uk/  or Darlington Borough Council on01325 405333. Contact Durham Constabulary on 999 in an emergency or 101 in anon-emergency. Members of the public are encouraged to report non-emergencies via the online web chat www.durham.police.uk which is available between 9am-5pm. You can also contact ASB help at asbhelp.co.uk

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