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Wiltshire and Swindon crime chief rules out addicts’ drug rooms
POLICE and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson has distanced Wiltshire from the prospect of drug consumption rooms for addicts being introduced in the county.
The consumption rooms, which have also been referred to as shooting galleries, would allow addicts to inject prescribed heroin legally.
It is an idea which has been rolled out in Brighton, Darlington and London, and has most recently been backed by Ron Hogg, the PCC for County Durham and Darlington On Wednesday, he said the facilities would help take drugs off the streets and reduce crime.
There are examples of this strategy across Europe, as well as Canada and Australia, where the focus is on taking the problem off the streets, and reducing the risk of death and disease.
When questioned whether he thought it was a valid form of countering drug addiction, Angus, the PCC for Wiltshire and Swindon said: “I’m a greater believer in abstinence rather than maintenance approaches in the treatment of those with drug habits.
“Recent national research reports that the use of Class A drugs is falling among young people and I’m not in favour of any form or approach that is seen to legitimise use of illegal drugs.”
Under the Durham PCC’s plans, there would be pharmaceutical, safe heroin made available to the addicts, which would reduce disease and death amongst the users.
Allowing the addicts to legally inject the substance in the controlled environment would also reduce the number of crimes associated with drug abuse, and the number of syringes found on streets.
Superintendent Gavin Williams, of Wiltshire Police, said: “Wiltshire Police robustly investigates any incident involving the supply or use of Class A drugs in our communities.
“We have a dedicated police team and operation specifically aimed at tackling the issue of illegal drugs in Wiltshire.
“Illegal drugs have a detrimental impact on our communities - not only drug users, but our wider society.
“The supply of illegal drugs is directly linked to other crime, from smaller scale crime such as anti-social behaviour, theft, and fraud, through to more serious crime such as money laundering, prostitution and human trafficking. The problem with the supply of Class A drugs in Swindon is not disproportionate to the population of the town or any bigger than other towns of a similar size.”
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