Police commissioner's trip to continent for expert advice on tackling drugs - The Solihull Observer

Police commissioner's trip to continent for expert advice on tackling drugs

Felix Nobes 9th Jun, 2018   0

THE WEST Midlands police commissioner has travelled to the continent on a ‘fact-finding’ mission as part of his pledge to tackle drug crime.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), David Jamieson, ventured to Switzerland in search of inspiration after waging a war on drugs.

He says he examined how the Swiss state has dramatically reduced crime and drug related deaths.

As well as touring various facilities the PCC talked to the experts behind the country’s drug policy.

He spoke to former President Ruth Dreifuss who pioneered many of the country’s harm reduction measures.

The commissioner’s whistle-stop tour was designed to examine how some of those proposals are working in practice.

He also visited heroin assisted treatment and drug consumption centres in Geneva in which patients take a prescription of a drug once or twice a day in a controlled environment.

As dosages get smaller, patients can overcome addictions gradually with the help of trained staff.

He also went to drug safety testing facilities in Bern.

Mr Jamieson said: “I am committed to tackling drug-related crime, reduce the huge burden on the tax payer and cut the number of drug related deaths.

“Despite the good work being done by many, collectively our approach to drugs is failing.

“That’s why I travelled to Switzerland to see what is working and what isn’t.

“The Swiss approach is cutting crime, saving lives and reducing the burden on the tax payer.

“I will take on board their practical approach as I work with other agencies to put my proposals into practice.”

In February the PCC launched a set of ‘practical proposals’ to tackle the cost of drugs to public services, reduce drug related crime and the shocking number of deaths in the region.

With drugs costing public services in the West Midlands £1.4billion each year, as well causing half of all acquisitive crime – crime such as theft, robbery and burglary – the PCC has demanded urgent action.


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