Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Drugs prohibition is 'unworkable and immoral' says Chief Constable

Press Release from Transform Drug Policy Foundation
10.30am October 10 2007
no embargo

Drugs prohibition is “unworkable and immoral” says Chief Constable

The Chief Constable of North Wales Police Richard Brunstorm, recommends in a report published today, that his Police Authority officially support his call for the legalisation and regulation of drugs, as part of their submission to the drug strategy consultation being conducted by the Government. He also recommends that they affiliate to Transform Drug Policy Foundation. The Authority meets on Monday 15 October to discuss the recommendations.

Danny Kushlick, Transform Director said:

"We are absolutely delighted at Mr Brunstrom’s paper. The Chief Constable has displayed great leadership and imagination in very publicly calling for a drug policy that replaces the evident failings of prohibition with a legal system of regulation and control for potentially dangerous drugs”.

“Mr Brunstrom’s call is less surprising when you consider that prohibition, and the illegal markets it creates, is the single largest cause of crime in the UK, generating £100 billion in crime costs alone over the last ten years. As a senior policeman he has witnessed first hand the counter productive effects of abdicating responsibility for this dangerous trade to unregulated and often violent criminals. His call for drug markets to be brought back within the sphere of Government control stands in enlightened contrast to the populist law and order posturing of our Prime Minister, who recently announced that ‘drugs are never going to be decriminalised’.”

“The current Government consultation on the drug strategy has inexplicably ruled out any discussion of alternatives to prohibition, despite the policy’s systematic failure over a number of decades. Mr Brunstrom’s paper puts these pragmatic alternatives firmly back on the table, where they should be, if a meaningful debate about ‘what works’ is to be entertained. It is to be hoped that the Police Authority support the Chief Constable’s recommendations and that other Police Authorities seriously examine the impact of enforcing prohibition. It signals the start of a renewed critique of prohibition, which Mr Brunstrom’s paper describes as ‘both unworkable and immoral’ and should force the Home Office and indeed Government to take the issue far more seriously than it has until now. An enormous amount of respect is due to the Chief Constable for supporting a ‘pragmatic and ethical’ policy, despite its taboo nature in front line party politics. Those that denounce him should be wary of relying on what Mr Brunstrom calls ‘moralistic dogma’.”

Notes for Editors:

The drugs paper was announced on the North Wales Police Blog:

The full paper is available in pdf here


Steve Rolles said...

theres a BBC regional debate going on here about this new report if anyone feels moved to comment.

Anonymous said...

This is an awesome paper with some outstanding quotes and passages and one would hope a watershed in the argument, given the reputation for radical policing of the officer concerned....

Anonymous said...

Excellent news to hear, had a brief look through the PDF and looks very impressive. Will be reading more in detail later on!

Hope Transform do become an affiliate with them and that this gets more press coverage!