Hippy-crack, other legal-highs and drugs to be tackled by Redbridge Police
Dozens of canisters can be seen strewn on the carpark area of St Francis Way (off Loxford Lane). This area is repeatedly the site of gas misuse.
Hippy-crack bottles continue to proliferate across our borough.
The image and video in this blog-post illustrate the large number that are being consumed at one time which seem to be reaching dangerous proportions.
Many more residents have began reporting incidents of the crime since the EIBP began reporting on the matter. Our petition and campaign which was featured in the Wanstead and Woodford Guardian (click here) reached the East Area Borough Commander and a response was received from the Partnership Inspector which provides some helpful news:
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. The Metropolitan Police Service is aware of this issue across London and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, which made offences of supplying, or offering to supply, possession with intent to supply, importing or exporting and possession in a custodial institution of a psychoactive substance. Nitrous oxide has practical applications; for example, use in catering in mousse siphons, and as a medicinal product; which means in most cases the offence of producing a psychoactive substance would not be available. For this reason, simple possession of nitrous oxide under this act is also not an offence unless there is additional evidence to suggest that the individual has the intent to supply to others. Additional evidence may be due to the quantity being possessed and the location or setting indicating that it is for purely recreational use for example. Where we come across individuals in possession of nitrous oxide and can prove an offence we will of course deal with those individuals in the most appropriate way.
The suggestion of London Borough of Redbridge introducing a bylaw to restrict sales of nitrous-oxide to over 18 year olds is a matter for the local authority to decide, and how they would police and monitor this bylaw. However, this may have a limited affect as these cartridges, produced predominantly for the catering industry, are also easily available online without age restriction.
I appreciate that this matter causes concerns to local residents and yourself and that individuals using this substance may be involved in anti-social behaviour and littering. Could you please advise any individuals that bring these matters to your attention to make contact with their local Safer Neighbourhood Team; to inform them when and where they are seeing these individuals to assist us to build up an accurate intelligence picture of what is occurring on the Borough. The Safer Neighbourhood Teams can support any residents experiencing anti-social behaviour as result of this. The Safer Neighbourhood Teams can be contacted via the Met Police website: https://www.met.police.uk/contact-us/
Richard Carter – Partnership Inspector on behalf of Detective Chief Superintendent Gwillim, EA BCU Commander
EA Prevention and Partnership - TP
Metropolitan Police Service
To tackle the crime Wilson Chowdhry leader of the Action team in your area has convinced his group the East Ilford Betterment Partnership to create a borough-wide on-line reporting portal on their website. This facility will feed into local safer neighbourhood teams ensuring better more productive policing of hippie-crack and harder drug use and dealing in Redbridge and independent analysis (via the EIBP). Last year the first convictions for dealing in hippy-crack set a positive precedent (Daily Mail Article click here) so the crime can be tackled.
We encourage all of you to make full use of the website portal once complete so that together we can defeat the crime. We will keep you posted on progress with the website portal and will launch it through local media when complete.
Mr Chowdhry will be contacting the Redbridge Drugs and Alcohol Team to challenge them to create informative literature that details the danger of legal high misuse. He will also encourage them to increase school based awareness programmes.