A word on nitrous oxide, CCTV and ASB

img_6110I’ve been working with residents to raise concerns about nitrous oxide (those horrible little canisters that are constantly strewn on the pavement) and anti-social behaviour. For residents’ interest, this is a recent reply from the council about problems around Hermitage Gardens. I share it because it has info on the legislation around nitrous oxide and the issues with the council’s CCTV equipment.


I have read with interest PC McGubbin’s comments on dealing with cars parked up and people using Nitrous Oxide canisters as legal highs. At the time of PC McGubbin’s email there was no legislation around the use or supply of this product and apart the use of street trading legislation no one had any powers to do anything about it. Since then the new “Psychoactive Substances Act 2016” provides only the Police with a lot more powers to deal with the use and supply of this product. The powers gives a Police Officer the power to arrest on detection or suspicion of supply of this product .It can be subject as to how many people would have for supply but I understand guidelines are putting the upper limit of 100 for suspicion.

Generally since the new legislation we have seen a massive reduction in the use and reports of the “nox” product and balloons. An example of this was the Lovebox event where last year we seized hundreds of boxes under street trading legislation and there was around 30 sellers working the event each day. This year we did not seize any and there were only three arrests at the very end of one night.

In relation to the temporary camera and Redmead Lane. Unfortunately with deployable cameras they serve as a high vis deterrent and have a limited life in any one place. A fully installed CCTV Cameras will be permanently connected to the Control Room by Fibre Optic cable so all the video is sent back to the Control Room and control is instant because of bandwidth sizes etc. This is not the case with deployable cameras as everything is within the box on the lamp column and contacting this camera is via mobile phone 3g and 4g technology . Downloading, controlling, transmitting images or setting up the deployables is problematic, very time consuming and often fails. Sometimes you just get enough bandwidth to point them in the right direction.

At the moment we only have a few of these cameras working as the stock is over seven years old and we are looking to try and get some finance for some new ones. The one which was at Wapping has been taken away now and used in an area where we had some serious gang violence and ongoing problems.

I hope that the information provided in response to your enquiry is sufficient and deals with your request. 

Yours Sincerely

Peter Allnutt

Specialist Services and Control Centre Manager



I recently reported a car of young guys taking nitrous oxide underneath my own window and got the reply below from Ana, who is the PC taking over duties in Wapping from PC McGubbins. I share it so that other residents have her details but also so you can see her advice if you too wish to report ASB. This should be changing relatively soon as I know the borough commander wishes to set up a dedicated ASB hotline. She will be coming to our ward in October to discuss my concerns about current arrangements for dealing with ASB.

Dear Cllr Dockerill,

Thank you for your email. There should be a Ward Panel Meeting coming soon, as well as walkabouts.

Regarding the incident you are reporting, have you got more details? Did you note the registration number of the car? Please never put yourself at risk. Please do not try to stop the vehicle or take pictures in close proximity.

Yesterday evening at approximately 1600 – 1800 hours we were on mobile patrol in the area, including Penang Street. As you say, Anti-Social Behaviour starts at later times. Therefore, we encourage residents to dial 101 and 999 in case of emergency to report incidents. There is ASB bus introduced on our borough, where officers from safer neighbourhood teams and response teams will take ASB calls only. In a few weeks’ time it is expected that THEOs will join these ASB patrols, and together we will try to tackle Anti-Social Behaviour in Tower Hamlets. These are late shifts, including hours past midnight. I am aware of some of the results from last two nights. The vehicle with no insurance was seized in Wapping, and 3 arrests made in Shadwell – possession of drugs with intent to supply. I think this is a good result for a start.

As you know, I am new to St Katharines and Wapping ward, and I am doing my best to attract as many resources as possible. I am open to new offers, so if you have ideas or suggestions, please contact me or my team, and we will discuss everything together.

Kind regards,

Ana Matvejeva | Police Constable | 200 HT | SNT St Katharine’s and Wapping | Email: Ana.Matvejeva@met.pnn.police.uk


We’re getting an additional ward officer for Wapping, which is great. However unlike other wards in Tower Hamlets, we’ve been told we must wait until 2017….hmm. I shall raise this with the borough commander when she visits in October. Here’s the letter from the police about it.

As you will know, the Mayor and the Commissioner have agreed to introduce a second Dedicated Ward Officer (DWO) in every London ward by the end of 2017 with a sole focus on responding to the issues that matter to that local community. These officers will come from existing officer strength on the Borough.

The first 260 officers will be moved into the role by the end of this year with the remainder in place by the end of 2017. Locally we will increase DWO numbers by phasing in an extra 10 officers on Tower Hamlets borough.

The wards that are being enhanced in the first phase (by the end of 2016) with permanent dedicated Ward officer positions are:

* Weavers

* Bow West

* Shadwell

* Stepney Green

* Bromley North

* Bromley South

* Canary Wharf

* Blackwall and Cubitt Town

* St Dunstans

* Island Gardens

The following wards already have two dedicated ward officer positions:

* St Peters

* Bethnal Green

* Spitalfields and Banglatown

* Whitechapel

* Lansbury

* Bow East

* Mile End

During 2017 we intend to increase to two (from one each) the number of Dedicated Ward Officer positions of the remaining three wards:

* Limehouse

* St Katherine’s and Wapping (their spelling not mine!)

* Poplar

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