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Scotland-Fury at Police Suggestion of Drugs Tolerance Zone

  1. Perception Addict
    Fury at Police Suggestion of Drugs Tolerance Zone For Capital City Centre

    Police have come under fierce attack from experts and politicians after mooting the creation of a drugs tolerance zone in the centre of Edinburgh.

    An inspector responsible for policing the city centre suggested that officers should stop arresting people caught carrying small amounts of drugs to increase the amount of officers available to carry out street patrols in Scotland's capital. But the proposal, raised at a meeting of police officers and leaked to the media, has triggered a barrage of criticism, with one expert saying it would turn the city into a "drugs fair".

    Inspector Andy Gilhooley, who has just taken charge of the central policing team at the city's West End police station, aired the plan with officers last week.

    He said: "If someone is caught with UKP2 of a drug, is arresting the person the best use of police time? This is something that has happened in various UK cities and we are now looking at it. We're looking for best working practice. We have a responsibility to provide a high-visibility presence. That's one measure we're considering to see if it's worth pursuing. Is it worth it? My personal answer is yes, it is."

    Encouraging door staff at clubs and pubs to stop calling the police when they catch someone carrying drugs for personal use, and instead confiscating the drugs and storing them for collection by officers at a later date, was also discussed.

    Lothian and Borders Police last night insisted there were no plans to introduce such moves, pointing out that approval from David Strang, the force's Chief Constable, and discussions with the Crown Office would be required.

    Pauline McNeill, Labour's justice spokeswoman, said that the move "sends the wrong signal". She added: "I understand the officer's desire to have more visibility in the streets. That's what people want. But this isn't the way to do it." Bill Aitken, the Scottish Tories' justice spokesman, said: "This sends a disastrous message. A zero-tolerance approach needs to be followed or Scotland's drug problems will get even worse."

    Neil McKeganey, professor of drug misuse research at Glasgow University, described the proposal as "extraordinary." He added: "If one wanted to turn Edinburgh city centre into a drugs fair, this is how to do it."

    He claimed senior police officers were "too willing to divest themselves of the responsibility of policing drugs".

    A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: "The idea was raised at an informal police briefing, where staff were encouraged to think about ways in which we could be more sophisticated in our approach to policing in the city centre. This was merely a discussion point, and we have no plans to take this suggestion further. Our focus remains on providing the highest levels of policing."

    http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=220&id=1857282007

Comments

  1. Kodi
    I dont really get why these "experts" know how the policemen's time is best spent. Maybe the police are "too willing to divest themselves of the responsibility of policing drugs" because they realize how pointless and how much of a waste of time and money it is.

    Come on Neil, the way to turn Edinburgh city centre into a drugs fair is to set up big tents with signs saying DRUGS HERE COME AND GET EM.

    A higher street presence is a good thing. I hope Neil gets robbed because the cops take too long to get there because they were busy arresting someone for a small amount of drugs.
  2. MrG
    Do you know why they came under fierce attack?

    Because lazy-assed journalists who can't be bothered to actually write something worth reading know that the easy way for their non-event of a story to make the lead pages is in three easy steps:

    1) Get wind of any new ideas or approaches being discussed in regards to drug policy

    2) Contact "experts" and politicians and demand that they go on record with their opinion in regards to this latest, horrific threat on middle-England's (or in this case Scotland's) ability to walk the streets safely without being brutaly mugged and raped by drug crazed addicts. Tell said "expert" or politician that if they choose not to make an "on the record" comment then they will be written up as being "all for said drug-crazed-rapist-mugger's rights instead of innocent, law abiding, tax paying, *voting*, decent people's rights"

    3) Send, what originally was nothing more than one committee's suggestion but has now been suitably fleshed out with tirades of lovely fierce quotes, to your editor and fuck off down the pub, confident in knowing that you have helped to keep the country a better, safer and happier place. Or at least you'll have managed to get close enough to the front page to justify a half-decent bonus come Xmas, either way is good enough for you.
  3. Police Officer
    lol
    Thats like asking the family of an alcoholic if the bars should hand out free beer. Man, talk about the wrong forum.

    Police see what drugs do to people. We see that it makes people turn bad. In all areas it is the root of all evils. I know thats not a popular opinion, but its the one that I have. Anyway, why would someone bring this up like that?

    Extraordinary? I'm not sure "Neil" has really thought this through. Say you have a four square block section where this free for all drug zone got ok'd. What do you think would happen? Woodstock? lol C'mon guys. It would be filled to the brim with seedy drug dealers and junkies. In a commercial district all of the businesses would move overnight (except the headshops) leaving the place desolate. In a residential district home values would plummet.
  4. trptamene
    PO, I am curious did you have this opinion before turning to LE? Or perhaps is this opinion what led you to LE?

    Even thinking about it objectively not sure can claim it as all evils...I would have to say money, power and the pursuit of these play major roles here as well.

    Perhaps the black market selling of drugs? This is surely the pursuit for money & power to a degree.

    To claim use itself causes evil seems unfounded. There are many documented cases of drugs positively influencing peoples lifes.

    Many, I would go far as to say most, of legalized drugs in America today were once hailed as medical miracles before their negative effects became realized, so they ban it in the futile search of the "perfect drug".

    I think most (probably all that have recreational value) drugs have a good and a bad side, drug users need to admit the bad sides and lawmakers need to admit the good sides...the sooner we can be open and honest about the REAL effects these drugs cause the sooner we can help fix the now rather bleak future of the drug problem our country is facing. Even your hated meth is currently a prescription drug and its good aspects have long been realized.

    Plus, I am sure the drunks you have arrested appear much more "evil" than the potheads, but that more reflects a flaw in the system and not your argument.
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