i know this is probly the wrong forum but i figerd it would be more enjoyed here.
'I'll buy heroin for addicts' says top cop Sep 6 2002
Darren Devine [email protected], The Western Mail
CONTROVERSIAL North Wales police chief Richard Brunstrom yesterday offered to buy heroin for drug addicts in a bid to prevent crime.
He said he was ready to become the first chief constable in Britain to take such a radical step to try to halt the tide of drug-related crime that is sweeping across the country.
The plan is just the latest in a long line of controversial ideas put forward by the outspoken chief con-stable on tackling the drugs crisis that is threatening to engulf parts of Wales.
Although such a scheme could not go ahead without Home Office approval, critics last night were already labelling the idea absolutely barmy.
Mr Brunstrom made his pledge after telling the annual Welsh Local Government Association conference that local authorities needed to do more to break the link between drugs and crime.
He said North Wales Police were already spending some of their budget on supporting projects aimed at helping addicts kick the drug.
Asked whether he would spend money on buying heroin to give to addicts so they would not have to steal to fund their habit, he said, "Yes".
Mr Brunstrom, who earlier this week said he did not know what to tell his children about cannabis, said he had already told the Government he would like to pilot the heroin scheme in North Wales. He also said he would be happy to part-fund it with his own force's money.
He promised that if it went ahead it would be tightly controlled, and said it was a measure of his commitment to deal with the drugs problem that he was ready to commit his own force's cash.
"As and when the Government proceeds with this, and I don't know whether they will or not, I would wish to volunteer to pilot that sort of idea in North Wales," he said.
"We would take the people who are totally and hopelessly addicted, particularly to heroin, who cannot or will not give up.
"For a small number of people - we are talking a handful of people in Wales, hundreds at most - that is the only hope. They are way beyond redemption."
At a time when police forces all over Britain are recording soaring levels of drug-related street crime and it is feared that dealers from England are planning to flood South and West Wales with cheap drugs, the idea is certain to be controversial.
Conservative AM for North Wales Peter Rogers said the policy would simply flood the drugs market with prescribed heroin.
He challenged Mr Brunstrom to show how such a scheme could be controlled, because many addicts stored up their supplies of the heroin
substitute methadone and sold them on the black market.
"The idea is absolutely barmy," said Mr Rogers.
"People involved in drugs are ruthless and they would not only use it to feed their own habits but to sell it to others. I cannot believe the drugs would not reach the black market unless you had absolute control.
"North Wales Police do not have the capabilities or manpower to police that."
Mr Rogers said the problem would create huge pressures on those dispensing the drugs, because they would be open to intimidation and threats from addicts.
"That is what happens in the inner cities now when methadone is dispensed at pharmacies. "I'm very dubious and I would like to see money targeted in other directions."
A spokesman for the Home Office said that such a scheme was already being considered for addicts where all other interventions had failed.