It was with great sadness we learnt that
Our relationship with
It is typical of his disarming honesty and sense of humour that in the biography on his website he noted:
It was during his time working in drug enforcement that he, in his own words:
When he retired in 1993 he became much more active in campaigning for drug law reform, bringing his wealth of experience to bear on the debate with an eloquence and authority it had not witnessed until then. He was undoubtedly a pioneer, going where others feared to tread. In doing so he prepared the ground for other reforming senior police that came after him, including Francis Wilkinson (former Chief Constable of Gwent), and Richard Brunstrom (serving Chief Constable of North Wales).
His campaigning blazed a trail that included groundbreaking opinion pieces in the Telegraph (Legalise Drugs Now: it’s the only answer 1993), the Daily Mail (I’m determined my children won’t get hooked – legalise 1998), the Independent (Law motivates criminal activity 1994), and the Guardian (Don’t be such a dope Mr Howard 1994), amongst countless others. He was also a regular fixture in broadcast media with appearances on programmes ranging from Kilroy, to Panorama, Newsnight, and Radio 4’s the Today programme (a more complete list here) . His brilliant insight and
As a loving father of two children he was always adamant that reform of the drug laws was essential to protect young people, and was always keen to restate his status as resolutely anti-drugs. He showed very clearly how a compassionate view towards problem drug users and a desire to reduce drug misuse and harm to wider society to the lowest possible level was entirely compatible with a pragmatic position on the failure of prohibition and the need for regulatory alternatives to be explored.
"Each and every police officer has their own ranking of the relative seriousness of all criminal offences that is often based on their background experiences. However hard they try, their attitudes and behaviour are often affected by that assessment. I have never, and can never, see the drug user as a 'criminal'. I see them as, amongst other descriptions, a rebellious youth, a risk taking idiot, a seeker of relief, a lobbyist for independent thought and freedom, someone in need of guidance and help or a very real exasperation to parents and friends. But in as much as the drug use is concerned, not a criminal and therefore the criminal law cannot be the appropriate weapon to counter or deter a choice of use."
The last time I saw him was at the Summer 2006 Release ‘
Steve, Danny, and the Transform team.
We will be re-publishing a series of Eddie's interviews and articles on the blog over the next few weeks.