Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “I welcome the introduction of today’s law (8 November) that makes the possession of nitrous oxide illegal.
“Repeat offenders who misuse the drug could now face up to two years in prison, whilst dealers of nitrous oxide could face up to 14 years in prison. This ban will make nitrous oxide a controlled Class C drug (under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971).
“The use of nitrous oxide is a complaint of residents in Thames Valley as it is in many parts of the country. Its use has well documented links to anti-social behaviour which can have a significant impact on communities, leading to an increased fear of crime. Another key concern is the particularly negative impact on the health of the young people who use it.
“I was pleased to support the Government’s Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan back in March this year to tackle anti-social behaviour, which included banning nitrous oxide.
“In the Thames Valley, the delivery of my Crimefighters Strategy means residents will see an increase in neighbourhood policing numbers to help prevent and disrupt crime and anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhoods. Today’s welcome change in the law will now also provide the police with the powers needed to tackle the possession of nitrous oxide, as well as those who supply it, to keep both our young people and communities safe.”