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Laughing gas and off-road bikes the latest targets for GMP’s crackdown on anti-social behaviour

    • Operation Tapan: Is it successful?

    • GMP aims to tackle anti social behaviour in Blackley

Greater Manchester Police have bolstered their efforts to deal with the anti-social behaviour (ASB) problems within Blackley as part of a new operation within the force.

Operation Tapan aims to tackle the off-road bikes usage in the community due to its links with anti-social problems. Over the last 2 years, the bikes have been reported to being used in crimes such as robbery, theft and drug dealing. Along with this, tyre tracks and dangerous driving have also been reported to disrupting the community.

The operation was launched in February, with GMP making a number arrests for dangerous driving and the seizure of stolen bikes. Multiple arrests have also been made for the intent to supply Class A and Class B drugs.

Yesterday (28 April), the police clamped down on these ASB hotspots which resulted in a successful day for the force. The police recovered multiple stolen bikes along with a stolen ford fiesta.

Stolen vehicle seized by Greater Manchester Police
Stolen Ford Fiesta recovered by GMP | Credit: Greater Manchester Police

PC Thomas Wyatt, who has been leading the operation, said: “Off-road bikes can be a huge nuisance for the public. While mindless behaviour can result in ruined parks and pitches, they can also be used to commit crimes such as robberies and thefts, while transporting illegal substances around the area.

“Operation Tapan is aimed at disrupting these illegal endeavours: whether through proactively patrolling hotspots or seeking out hiding areas for stolen bikes, we are working on the ASB-busting priorities that people in Blackley want us to focus on.”

Next to where the stolen bikes were dumped, canisters of nitrous-oxide were found with the intent to supply.


Nitrous Oxide, also known as ‘laughing gas’ is the most commonly used drug by 16-24 year olds in the UK.

Back in March, the government announced plans to criminalise the possession of nitrous-oxide as part of a new policy to crackdown on anti-social behaviour across the country.

However, the announcement goes against the advise of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), who recommended to not ban nitrous-oxide.

Nitrous-oxide (NOS) is most commonly used in medicine as a light general anaesthetic and is also used in whipping cream canisters.

Nitrous Oxide canisters seized by Greater Manchester Police
NOS canisters recovered by GMP | Credit: Greater Manchester Police

It is used recreationally due to its psychoactive effects, where the gas is compressed into a balloon and inhaled. The drug does run the risk of having long term effects if inhaled frequently.

Side effects of nitrous oxide include:

  • Slowing down the brain and the body’s responses
  • Can make you feel faint, lose consciousness and suffocate
  • Damage to vitamin B12 which protects spine and nervous system

Speaking on the BBC, Michael Gove said:

“We are doing this because if you walk through any urban park you will see these little silver cannister which are the evidence of people regarding public spaces as arenas for drug taking.

“It is unacceptable. People should feel those spaces are being looked after in a way which means they are safe for children.”