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Police chief backs heroin ‘fix rooms’

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  • Police chief backs heroin ‘fix rooms’

    “Fix rooms” for heroin addicts to inject themselves are being considered in the West Midlands under controversial plans intended to steer drug users away from the courts.
    David Jamieson, the Labour police and crime commissioner, has proposed that the most severe heroin addicts who fail other forms of treatment be provided with the Class A drug in a “medical setting”. It is one of eight drug policy recommendations for the region in a report from Mr Jamieson. He hopes that the scheme will prevent users stealing to fund their addiction.
    He is also considering going a step further and introducing drug consumption rooms, or “fix rooms”. In this arrangement, addicts would bring their own drugs, rather than being medically prescribed with a fix. They are also provided with clean equipment, medical support and treatment.
    The West Midlands would be the third area in the UK to try to implement such a scheme, which would allow users to inject under supervision.
    In Glasgow, the council and NHS hope to introduce the UK’s first legal consumption room later this year. It has been blocked by the Home Office, which said that it was illegal and police must enforce the law, but the Scottish government wants the powers to be devolved so the plan can go ahead.
    In Durham, police plan to give supplies to addicts, following the approach of Switzerland and other European countries where it has been credited with easing drug problems.
    There are signs that other regions are shifting their approach to drug policy, with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners welcoming the report. Hardyal Dhindsa, the association’s national spokesman for alcohol and substance misuse, said that they must take “every opportunity to look again at how we can best support the most vulnerable in society” and that drug misuse could “not be addressed by policing alone”.
    Half of all burglary, theft, shoplifting and robbery is committed by people with an addiction to drugs. In the West Midlands, drug poisoning is said to cost one life every three days.
    The West Midlands also plans to introduce testing at nightclubs where officers would check samples of Ecstasy and cocaine. Users would keep their drugs if they were pure but if they were mixed with substances such as rat poison they would lose them.
    Mr Jamieson said: “By the end of my term of office in 2020, I hope many of these proposals are in place and having an effect — reducing crime, but also the suffering of those addicted to drugs.”
    The Home Office said: “A range of offenses is likely to be committed in the operation of drug consumption rooms. We expect local police forces to enforce the law in such circumstances.”

    “Fix rooms” for heroin addicts to inject themselves are being considered in the West Midlands under controversial plans intended to steer drug users away from t
    Last edited by Joann Miller; 02-13-2018, 11:49 AM.

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