Labour Backs Laughing Gas Ban To Tackle Anti-Social Behaviour

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Discard Canisters of nitrous oxide or 'hippie crack' in the Clondalkin area of Dublin. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Discard Canisters of nitrous oxide or ‘hippie crack’ in the Clondalkin area of Dublin. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)

Labour has backed the government’s proposed ban on the sale of laughing gas, saying it is a “blight” on communities. 

Nitrous oxide will be banned under plans to tackle anti-social behaviour, Michael Gove announced on Sunday.

Senior Labour MP Lucy Powell agreed with the proposal and called for enforcement.

The shadow culture secretary told Sky’s Sophy Ridge: “I think we want to see it banned as well because I think it does cause a huge amount of littering, of disruption and of antisocial behaviour challenges as well.

“We do need to tackle at source these kind of crimes – well sometimes they’re not crimes – these kind of behaviours that are blights on our communities.

“It’s something when I go door knocking in my constituency in Manchester Central and I go out meeting residents – anti-social behaviour is probably the number one issue that they raise with me.”

Gove told the BBC nitrous oxide can have a “damaging effect on young brains” and its public use can lead to “greater lawlessness”.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) recently advised against new laws to ban nitrous oxide.

Nitrous oxide, sold in metal canisters, is known as NOS and is the second most-used drug by UK 16 to 24-year-olds.

Confirming the ban on laughing gas, Gove told Sky: “I think anyone who has the opportunity to walk through our parks in our major cities will have seen these little silver canisters, which are examples of people not only spoiling public spaces but taking a drug which can have a psychological and neurological effect and one that contributes to antisocial behaviour overall.”