UK: POLICE CHIEF CALLS FOR LEGAL HEROIN

By Alfa · Feb 7, 2004 ·
  1. Alfa
    POLICE CHIEF CALLS FOR HEROIN TO BE LEGALISED

    A senior policeman faced fierce criticism from fellow officers and
    politicians yesterday when he called for heroin to be legalised.

    Richard Brunstrom, the chief constable of North Wales, said he did not
    advocate anyone abusing their body, but he thought the open sale of drugs
    would wipe out the multimillion-pound illegal trade and help cut crime.

    "Heroin is very addictive but it's not very, very dangerous," he told the
    BBC Wales political programme Dragon's Eye.

    "The question is actually not 'Am I prepared to see the government selling
    heroin on the street corner or through the pharmacy?' but 'Why would we not
    want to do that?' Our current policy is doing more harm than good."

    Mr Brunstrom said dealers charged #40 a gram for heroin but the government
    could sell it for #1 a gram, cutting theft from addicts and violence from
    dealers.

    But Keith Hellawell, the former drugs tsar and ex-chief constable of West
    Yorkshire police, said: "He doesn't represent the view of the rest of the
    police service. He certainly doesn't represent the views of those who have
    been associated with the problems of heroin."

    Andy Hayman, Norfolk's chief constable and the Association of Chief Police
    Officers spokesman on drugs, said: "Acpo does not support either the
    legalisation or open sale of any controlled drug."

    Hywel Williams, the Plaid Cymru MP for Caernarfon,, voiced concern about
    the effect Mr Brunstrom's statement would have on how young people viewed
    drug use.

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