ASB and nitrous oxide: Burnley to see more police patrols and 'laughing gas' to be banned in crackdown on antisocial behaviour
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Police are to increase patrols in ASB hotspots in Burnley and Padiham, including parks, public transport, and the town centre, thanks to extra funding to help deter nuisance behaviour and deliver “faster justice” to victims. Offenders could be forced to repair the damage caused as soon as 48 hours later.
Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” – now the third most used drug among 16 to 24-year-olds in England – will also become illegal to stop gangs from littering high streets and children’s parks with empty canisters.
Speaking in the House of Commons, MP Antony Higginbotham said: “Regeneration is taking place across Burnley and Padiham thanks to this government. But to really realise the potential, we've got to crack down on anti-social behaviour in our town centres.”
Responding, MP Michael Gove, the Levelling Up Secretary, said: “Across the country, what we need to do is to have more uniformed officers in crime hotspots. We need to have faster justice so that those who are responsible for damaging an area make reparation.”
MP Higginbotham said he welcomes the additional funding to help stop offenders spiralling into more serious crime.
"Anti-social behaviour leaves people feeling unsafe, and if unchallenged, further emboldens perpetrators to commit more serious criminal acts. It has to be nipped in the bud and is why I’ve raised it so many times in Parliament, including with the Home Secretary.
“I’ve always been clear that alongside the extra police officers that are now patrolling the streets of Burnley and Padiham, a common-sense approach needs to be taken. And those causing misery in our neighbourhoods must be held to account for their actions.
“I welcome the additional focus on tackling ASB and will continue to work constructively with both the police, and our Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden to tackle the issue head on.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hopes the new action plan will “tackle this issue with the urgency it deserves and stamp out these crimes once and for all – so that wherever you live, you can feel safe in, and proud of your community.”