Herts Police and Crime Commissioner welcomes change in legislation over nitrous oxide
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POLICE and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has welcomed a change in legislation that now bans possession of nitrous oxide.
Last week nitrous oxide was classified as a controlled Class C drug, under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
And unlawful possession of the gas for its ‘psychoactive’ effects – or to ‘get a high’ – can now carry a sentence of up to two years, which has been welcomed by Mr Lloyd.
“I’m delighted that today sees the implementation of the ban on nitrous oxide,” said Mr Lloyd.
“Those caught supplying this potentially dangerous drug – which is particularly used by and is dangerous for children and young people – will now be treated as drug dealers.
“Reducing drug related harm across our communities is a top priority for me and indeed for all PCCs.
“And this ban will ensure police officers are better equipped to deal with the problem in their communities and respond more effectively to residents concerns.
“Alongside the ban we must ensure that we continue to educate young people against risk taking with drugs and provide the right intervention and support.”
Following the change in the legislation, those found in ‘unlawful possession’ of nitrous oxide could face an unlimited fine, a visible community punishment or a caution.
Repeat serious offenders may face a prison sentence of up to two years, an unlimited fine, or both.
Nitrous oxide can be used legitimately in medical settings, in industry and catering. If in possession of nitrous oxide, it will be for individuals to demonstrate that they possess the drug for legitimate purposes.