Have you ever wondered how the people who dump all those shiny little canisters of laughing gas get their hands on them? Online at Gumtree seems to be the answer.
When deleting one of the many spam messages from the Love Wapping site we accidentally clicked on one of the stupid links in the message. This took us to the Gumtree site where we soon discovered a wide range of adverts for ‘cream chargers’ as laughing gas canisters are technically described.
Cream chargers are supposed to be for use in catering and restaurants, not for filling balloons up with the nitrous oxide laughing gas they contain, inhaling it and getting a ‘legal high’.
Use legal, supplying for recreational use illegal.
The advert above on Gumtree seems to be aimed at the type of catering establishment where it is such a joy to work that the employees dance around their workspace in delight and decorate it with balloons filled with the cream chargers contents – laughing gas.
This is the text from another advert on Gumtree (contact details changed):
Available for delivery if not too far from my location or can meet and collect at ESSEX ROAD STATION ISLINGTON
1 BOX FOR £10
3 BOXES FOR £30
(Catering uses only)
Contact number: 01234 123456
Ad ID: 123456
This seller is so eager to fulfil orders (catering users only of course as stated) that he or she will meet you at Essex Road Station in Islington. How handy for restaurants who suddenly run out of creamers just as they are making desserts for customers.
NO2 delivery in 30 minutes
A quick Google revealed that some cream charger suppliers (to the catering trade, not for recreational use) were even keener to corner their market, to the extent that they will deliver a box of canisters to your address within 30 minutes. Incredible service.
The above screenshot is taken from Google with search results from other sites – it’s not just Gumtree who run these adverts.
Met Borough Commander is on the case
We emailed Gumtree’s press department last week asking why there are a large number of adverts for cream canisters on Gumtree which are blatantly aimed at individuals for recreational use?
At the time of publication we have yet to receive a reply.
In contrast to this Borough Commander Sue Williams (left) was on the case within 15 minutes of LW informing her of the Gumtree adverts.
Thanks for that Commander!
And the reason why Commander Williams was so quick to respond is that she and her team at the MPS and Tower Hamlets Council have just launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the perils of laughing gas use (for recreation, not cream pies) across the borough.
While sites like Gumtree seem quite happy to take money to run adverts which are blatantly aimed at individuals.
Which is one way to piss off law-abiding residents of whole parts of London all at once Gumtree if you haven’t worked it out yet.
To be fair Gumtree state on their website that: “We continue to grow and improve, but we’re still sticking to our original aim of creating successful connections between people just like you and me.”
Which is sort of correct.
Recognise this box in a Gumtree advert?
This is where you may have seen it before. On the streets of Wapping (and all of Tower Hamlets)
LW has watched as two people sat in a car in Wapping and worked their way through 100 of these canisters in one hour then dumped them on the street and drove off. We know it was an hour because we timed it and we know it was 100 canisters because we collected and counted every one.
Apart from the affect on the very small brains of the people who use nitrous oxide there must be tens of thousands of these canisters dumped across our Borough every year which costs everyone a lot of money to clear up.
Let’s hope Gumtree start to act like a responsible member of our communities. If we do get an official response from them we will publish it – but it had better been very good indeed.
Oh and an offer of money to the Council to cover the cost of clearing up your customers sell would be good. (That was a hint).