'Laughing gas central': Call for action on antisocial behaviour

Nitrous oxide canisters

Nitrous oxide canisters litter behind Redcoat Community Centre and Masjid in Wellesley Street, Stepney Green - Credit: MyLondon

Antisocial behaviour and litter is plaguing an area of Tower Hamlets, a neighbouring resident has claimed. 

The 30-year-old, who did not want to be named, claimed there is a nightly "party" behind a community centre in Stepney Green, with litter including laughing gas canisters, alcohol containers and household waste.

He said people have hijacked the area around Redcoat Community Centre and Masjid to make it "laughing gas central" at night:  “It’s every night outside the flats and they’re so loud. 

“Sometimes there’s around 15 of them and they’re really loud. You can hear the canisters whizzing off into the early hours.

"Honestly you’d think we lived in laughing gas central.


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“It’s like living next to an illegal rave. We all like a party but they’re even at it on a Sunday night."

He expressed concern about the number of children living in the opposite building who could see the behaviour and resulting rubbish.

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“The mess they leave is just ridiculous, and it’s right next to a bin," he added.

"There’s canisters all the way down to Stepney Green Park. They’re doing it right behind the community centre as well and I think that doubles up as a mosque. 

“I’m surprised they don’t get moved on or fined for littering by the council. There’s always police going around here so I don’t understand it.”

In May, Tower Hamlets Council banned the use of nitrous oxide "laughing gas" canisters, citing its link with antisocial behaviour.

Those using the canisters can be fined £100 by police or prosecuted, although these measures are intended to be a last resort. Failure to pay can, however, result in a £1,000 fine.

In a statement when issuing the ban, Tower Hamlets Council said: “The council and Tower Hamlets Homes have received complaints from local people who find it intimidating seeing groups of people taking nitrous oxide, which also causes a noise nuisance. 

“The small metal canisters that contain it are often left on the floor as litter.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) has contacted Tower Hamlets Council and the Metropolitan Police for comment.

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