Police commissioner backs drug use rooms

Drug addicts should be able to inject themselves legally in officially-sanctioned ‘drug consumption rooms’, a Police and Crime Commissioner has said.

Ron Hogg, a former Deputy Chief Constable, said that supervising the injection of prescribed heroin would reduce crime, disease and death.

But the Home Office has said the Government has “no plans” to allow the facilities, as they would break laws “whereby possession of controlled drugs is illegal”.

Criticise

And Public Health England, an agency of the Department of Health, criticised the idea.

It said in a statement: “These facilities would be expensive to provide and may not be the most cost-effective way of achieving outcomes for service users.”

Mr Hogg referred to three trials in the UK and others abroad where a hardcore of heroin users were allowed to inject medical heroin under supervised conditions.

Soft

He said: “This doesn’t mean we’re going soft on drugs in any way. We are continuing to address drug dealing and organised crime groups and are not condoning drug use.”

Two newspaper columnists have previously criticised the idea of drug consumption rooms.

Melanie Phillips said the facilities “risk turning whole areas into drug hot-spots”, and institutionalise hard drug use.

Surrender

And Peter Hitchens warned: “The British liberal establishment have decided to surrender to the powerful and well-funded lobby that wants to ‘decriminalise’ drugs.”

Mr Hogg has worked with Chief Constable Mike Barton, who recently came under fire for urging the Government to decriminalise Class A drugs.

Kathy Gyngell, of the Centre for Policy Studies, said Mr Barton’s solution to the problem of drugs crime is not so “seductively simple”.

She said he is “at the coalface of a drugs policy regime that is paying a high price for its liberality”.

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