I COULD not agree more with the suggestion that we need to be evidence-driven when it comes to dealing with drugs.

Some might say my support of the consideration of drug consumption rooms is normalising drug use.

This says more about their views that it does my own, as I am simply following the recommendation as stated by the Government’s expert advisers, and a range of other academics.

Last week the Office for National Statistics published the annual figure for the number of drugs related deaths.

It is 4,359 – the highest number, and the highest yearly increase since records began in 1993. It is also double the fatalities from road accidents.

The Government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs produced a 2016 report on reducing the level of opioid-related deaths.

One of their recommendations is that consideration is given to reduce drug related deaths through the provision of medically-supervised drug consumption clinics in localities with a high concentration of injecting drug use.

The report also states these facilities have not been found to increase injecting, drug use or local crime rates.

Drug consumption rooms are well established in Australia and Canada and have been operating in Europe for the last three decades.

Rigorous academic research shows they provide medical supervision in a safe and controlled environment and there is unequivocal evidence to show a reduction in the number of drug related deaths, with no increased drug consumption.

Given the evidence, there are now several senior police officers, PCCs, MPs and public health experts advocating the creation of a national network of such facilities to stop addicts from committing crime to feed their habit.

I will continue to rely on peer-reviewed, Government accepted, academic findings rather than the opinions of others.

I encourage naysayers to fully familiarise themselves with the evidence, and not be swayed by political opinion.

I urge them to visit my website www.dorset.pcc.uk where I will publish further evidence this week.

This is a public health crisis, and we must listen to the experts rather than political masses.


Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner