Home Office rejects proposals for drug ‘shooting galleries’

The Home Office has said it will not sanction the widespread opening of drug consumption rooms, amid pressure from pro-legalisation MPs to do so.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform, alongside seven police commissioners, called on the Government “to allow the relevant local authorities the discretion to proceed with locally developed, closely evaluated pilots”.

Pressure for the rooms is particularly strong in Scotland.

‘No plans’

The group, co-chaired by Crispin Blunt MP, who also heads a lobby group which has indicated support for decriminalisation, said the Government “must urgently escape the simplicity of ‘drugs are bad, they are banned’”.

But the Home Office responded: “Our drug strategy is bringing together police, health, community and global partners to tackle the illicit drug trade, protect the most vulnerable and help those with a drug dependency to recover.”

It added: “The UK Government has been clear that there is no legal framework for the provision of drug consumption rooms and there are no plans to introduce them.”

Scotland’s epidemic

It was revealed last week that Scotland has the worst drugs death rate in Europe, but that pro-drugs campaigners are pushing for drug rooms to be made legal there.

Glasgow Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins revealed drug addicts have told him: “The one thing you do not want to do is to make it easier for us to take heroin”.