Wapping E1W seems to be the dumping ground of choice for those in east London who want to get rid of their drugs rubbish in a nice quiet spot. Our Wildlife Rangers were out on a routine early morning patrol in search of parakeets when they almost tripped over three cardboard boxes full of those annoying nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas) gas canisters that frequently litter our streets.
On this occasion the street being littered was Tench Street. See photo below.
This was on the pavement in Tench Street just opposite the vehicle entrance to John Orwell Sports Centre.
Three medium sized cardboard boxes full of several hundred used gas canisters and balloons.
Apart from anything else this sort of thing is a magnet for young children.
We are all used to finding lots of these gas canisters in our streets in the morning but to find three boxes full of so many of the annoying little things is unusual to say the least.
Obviously someone had a party – but this many? More like an event.
So our Rangers called 101 and talked to the police who sent a unit down to check it out.
Annoying but not a crime
The police officers had a look and as usual there was nothing they can do about this sort of thing because it is not a criminal offence to use the canisters. It is a littering / fly tipping issue. Even then the culprits have to be caught in the act.
It is apparently an offence to supply these ‘legal highs’ under the Psychoactive Substance Act but that does not seem to be making much difference on our streets.
No doubt most residents would argue that people using these gas canisters, inhaling the nitrous oxide gas using the balloons to get ‘legally high’ and then dumping their drugs junk on our street is anti-social behaviour.
After the police left our Rangers disposed of the three boxes and their shiny contents in one of the recycling bins that was set alight by an arsonist the other week.
The Rangers weren’t sure if a recycling bin was the correct place for them but as they were the only people dealing with this hazard they did not have a lot of choice.
Wapping – not crime free
The area around Tench Street and Green Bank is suffering from a variety of problems ranging from this sort of thing to boy racers trying to kill themselves in fast cars, groups of little yobs throwing liquids into the Turks Head Cafe, residents being racially abused in Wapping Gardens to drugs deals taking place in broad daylight.
Not forgetting the person setting lights to the rubbish and recycling bins.
And you thought Wapping was crime free, didn’t you?
LW will be dealing with these issues in another post. And there is no point in blaming the police – there are just not enough of them. Blame the politicians who cut the police budgets.
And if you voted for such cuts – blame yourself. It’s only fair.