The Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales has been told to take drug offences seriously, after indicating he thinks police forces should no longer treat drugs possession as a criminal matter.
Arfon Jones said some forces in England and Wales are choosing not to charge or prosecute drug users, and that this amounted to welcome decriminalisation.
He said that while the Home Office would not approve of his use of the term ‘decriminalisation’, “Whatever you call it, it’s the same thing. It’s already happening”.
‘Dangerous and addictive’
Darren Millar, AM for Clwyd West, said he has “every sympathy with those who fall prey to drug addiction”, and wants to see investment into support services for addicts.
But he criticised Jones’s support for decriminalisation.
“Our Police Commissioner should be helping the police to enforce the law, not encouraging people to break it.”
He said many in North Wales “find it galling that we have a Police Commissioner who is actively campaigning for dangerous and addictive substances which destroy lives, families and relationships to be decriminalised”.
He added: “Our Police Commissioner should be helping the police to enforce the law, not encouraging people to break it.”
Last year, the Government rejected a call from former Metropolitan Police chief Lord Bernard Hogan-Howe to review the law on cannabis.
He even said the UK could consider following Canada’s example and legalise the psychosis-inducing drug.
The Home Office responded that there was a “potential grave risk of increased misuse of drugs” if cannabis was decriminalised or legalised.
A spokesman said: “Decriminalisation or legalisation would send the wrong message to the vast majority of people who do not take drugs, especially young and vulnerable people”.