Nitrous oxide is no laughing matter in Wapping

More and more Wapping residents are complaining about the large quantities of nitrous oxide canisters found every morning on our streets.

And in case you don’t know what a nitrous oxide canister is here is a photo.



This problem is not specific to Wapping of course. One local businessman who works in E1W but lives elsewhere took his car to the garage to get it fixed one morning after one of the shiny objects fell out of his exhaust… The mechanic explained to him what it was.

One problem leads to another

The problem is two fold. Firstly the people who throw these canisters into the road after using them to get a ‘legal high’ are causing hassle for residents and work for the people who have to clear up their mess. The people from companies like Veola are paid by the council to clear up the usual stuff – not this extra junk.

Secondly if the people doing this know they can park up somewhere – Tench Street, Watts Street, Cinnamon Street to name a few spots – and do this with impunity it is common sense to believe that other people will feel free to undertake other forms of ASB as and when they wish.

The current problem with the ‘boy racers‘ is, in the opinion of LW, an example of this. Not rocket science is it?

As described in previous posts the quantities of gas canisters found in the streets is quite staggering. A little bit of arithmetic and some Wapping Mole style snooping gives an indication of this.

Look out – Moley is about!

The other day the Wapping Mole, disguised as a giraffe so as not to attract attention, wandered along Tench Street and walked past a parked car just opposite Portman Place. Moley walked that way because he could hear the sound of balloons being inflated by gas canisters right across the park. No sleuthing required really. Just good Mole ears. Or giraffe ears.

Tench Street the morning after.

Anyway as Moley wandered past he saw a young male in the driving seat and a young female in the passenger seat and two more people in the back of the car. All the vehicle occupants were – you guessed it – laughing.

Guess what is in the bag?

The reason they were laughing was the steadily increasing number of nitrous oxide canisters they were throwing out of the window onto the street. About one every two minutes.

In the back of the car Moley noticed a cardboard box which was exactly the same as those found recently near John Orwell.

Ever discrete Moley disappeared into the pub the shadows. But not before he took a photo of the car’s registration plate. Of which more below….

Someone has to clear this up. At what cost to the borough?

The next morning Moley returned to the exact same spot to see what the litter was like.

He counted around 300 nitrous oxide canisters. This amount was generated by four people in an couple of hours.

So that is roughly 75 canisters per person.

As noted before the problem is that it is not illegal to use nitrous oxide for ‘recreational purposes’. Which is a bit of a issue when trying to stop it happening.

And now the good news

But the sort of good news is that almost without exception the people who use nitrous oxide do so while in charge of a motor vehicle. And as this news story in The Guardian (Driver jailed for crashing car while inhaling laughing gas) shows being in charge of a motor vehicle while under the influence of any substance – legal or illegal – is an arrestable offence.

So maybe one way to solve the laughing gas canister problem is for vehicles used in this way – with registration details provided by the kind people of Wapping via the police 101 number if required – to be stopped by the police and let normal legal procedures take their course?

Just an idea.

Then all we need to do is get the boy racers sorted before they kill someone.

The cardboard box in the back of the car was the same as these. recently found on Tench Street.

As mentioned above Moley took the registration number of the car from which the 300 or so gas canisters were ejected. But when starting to write this post the editorial team decided not to publish the registration.

But taking a break from our labours and going for a walk around the block the editorial team heard a familiar sound in Green Bank… a familiar inflating sound.

Come on down DS54 DUU!

Moley was immediately called and no more than twenty paw steps away he found a car from which the whooshing sounds were coming. It was parked between two white transit vans so quite tricky to spot.

And guess which car it was?

Yep. The exact same one as seen in Tench Street and described above.

So here is DS54 DUU in Tench Street at 18:16hrs the afternoon of 29th August 2016.


And here is DS54 DUU in Green Bank at 21.02 the evening of 30th August 2016.


Red arrow marks the spot where DS54 DUU is parked between two transits.


There is no suggestion that the occupants of this vehicle were involved in any criminal activity.

LW did ring 101 (twice) – but they were very busy so at the moment we have not got through. Hopefully this post will do instead?

Just before going to sleep in his nice warm underground burrow Moley went for another walk and noticed the car had gone. But what had it left behind Moley wondered?

Black bag on Green Bank.

Moley was surprised to discover that the area where the car had been picked was almost completely clear of gas canisters. Then he spotted the black bag on the pavement. Kicking it with his paw it made a metallic sound.

And this is what was inside. 100 used gas canisters.

100 used gas canisters found on Green Bank in black bag.

The arithmetic this time was 100 gas canisters, two people, about 90 minutes to consume the lot.

The driver is, as this story is being written, driving around Tower Hamlets after consuming 50 canisters of nitrous oxide.



3 thoughts on “Nitrous oxide is no laughing matter in Wapping

  1. You might also be interested to know that car is illegally driving around with no MOT (expired 1st August). Simple enough to check on the dvla website.

  2. You can ring 101 all you like. They won’t respond. We’re all told to ring 101 to log the numbers of issues, but it’s still not having an effect on police presence. It’s not a police priority they say.

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