THE rush for Dorset to have drug consumption rooms is flawed.

Without hard facts to show their worth, I am surprised that Dorset's PCC is so keen to see drug consumption rooms in our county. The belief that setting them up will reduce drug-related crime and lead to fewer addicts lacks evidential backing. These rooms are for one purpose only and that is to give refuge to those addicts with no intention to quit drugs.

That may be a worthy goal but there have to be better ways of doing it. We cannot simply normalise drug taking – doing so may encourage addiction, drive up consumption and create a new means for dealers to target vulnerable drug users.

The government has received much lobbying about this but remains unconvinced. I have made it my business to find out more about drugs policy and have spoken both to our new orime minister and our home secretary and their position on drugs is robust.

In my opinion drug consumption rooms look like the state giving permission for an illegal act. On that basis and from a community perspective, we should look to put more resources into other programmes which help addicts actually give up.

There are I believe currently two UK consumption room pilot schemes running and we should wait for their conclusions before going down this route.

Until there is overwhelming evidence that this intervention serves the needs of the community as a whole better than those currently available then we should leave it well alone.

Let's be evidence driven. With so much at stake, I would like to see a greater emphasis on enforcement to address the crimes, outreach to help reduce the number of addicts and critically better education of our young rather than spending money on the facilitation for the few. That's how we make our county safer.

DAVID SIDWICK, PCC Conservative candidate