Over the past 12 months, Met Police along with our Enforcement Officers have noticed a significant increase in littering of canisters (whippets) that contain nitrous oxide, otherwise known as a legal high.

Over the past 12-months, Met Police along with our Enforcement Officers have noticed a significant increase in littering of canisters (whippets) that contain nitrous oxide, otherwise known as a legal high. This substance is inhaled by club goers and individuals involved in the club scene across Lambeth particularly around Vauxhall and Clapham area.

Central government is currently proposing a ‘blanket ban’ on all legal high production, importation and supply in the form of a Psychoactive Substance Bill, however this bill does not address possession and usage of these drugs. Due to the on-going nuisance of litter and anti-social behaviour connected with usage of legal highs, we will convey a zero tolerance of this behaviour and activity in our borough.

With a PSPO, the focus is on tackling anti-social behaviour evidenced throughout specific hot spots in Lambeth as well as littering outside of pubs, night clubs and train stations. The PSPO is defined as;

  • Activities carried on in a public place within the Authority’s area have had detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality, or it is likely that activities will be carried on in a public place within that area and that they will have such an effect.
  • It is likely to be persistent or continuing in nature and is deemed unreasonable which justifies the restrictions imposed by the notice.

Enforcement of this order will be in the form of a fixed penalty notice of £100 to £1000 (court awarded) for those possessing, using, disposing of, supplying and producing Psychoactive Substances (legal highs). This will be enforced through the local Met Police and Lambeth Enforcement Officers.

This allows Lambeth the ability to address the impact of the quality of life in the locality, persistence of activity and whether the impact makes behaviour reasonable.

The Recommendation is to seek a Public Space Protection Order, throughout Lambeth Borough, with the following prohibition:

Person(s) within this area will not:

  • Ingest, inhale, inject, smoke, possess or otherwise use intoxicating substances.
  • Selling and supply is also prohibited.

Intoxicating Substances is given the following definition (does not include Alcohol): Substances with the capacity to stimulate or depress the central nervous system.

Exemptions shall apply in cases where the substances are used for a valid and demonstrable medicinal use, given to an animal as a medicinal remedy, are cigarettes (tobacco) or vaporisers or are food stuffs regulated by food health and safety legislation.

Persons within this area who breach this prohibition shall: surrender intoxicating substances in his/her possession to an authorised person and potentially be fined £100 or £1000 (court appearance).

(An authorised person could be a Police Constable, Police Community Support Officer or Council Officer, and must be able to present their authority upon request)

How to respond

This consultation ended on Monday 13 July 2015 and is now closed for responses.