“Not arresting drug dealers will help REDUCE violent crime, says think tank”
Well, I guess the people who voted for Nullabor must be on drugs and Â feel obliged to support their dealers…
The police should tolerate some drug dealing and focus instead on reducing the violent crime linked to it, a think-tank has proposed.
The UK Drug Policy Commission said ministers should be less concerned about catching pushers and seizing narcotics.
But critics condemned the suggestion, arguing that it would leave those communities where dealing is tolerated ‘written off’.
In a report published yesterday, the commission said traditional measures of policing success – such as the number of arrests and the quantities of narcotics snatched – are of ‘ limited value’ because markets for illegal drugs are ‘large, resilient and quick to adapt’.
The study said removing small-time dealers can create a power vacuum that leads to bloody turf wars between gangs, which often end in murder, shootings and stabbings.
The dealers could instead be shepherded away from areas where they intimidate residents and endanger children, towards areas such as industrial estates, the report added.
* Read the letters to the editor. Some Brits are becoming increasingly agitated…
It suggested that police should focus their energies on catching the drug barons, and on tackling drug-related problems such as gun violence, sexual exploitation, corruption and the use of children as look-outs or couriers.
Roger Howard, chief executive of the independent think-tank, said its report did not say police should not carry out raids and arrests.
But he added: ‘Drug markets will inevitably remain, and some enforcement agencies are beginning to prioritise their resources and efforts to curb the most harmful aspect of these.
‘To do this means having a much bigger picture of the harms being created and much better evaluation of the real impact and value for money of enforcement.’
But former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said allowing police to decide which neighbourhoods most needed support, would leave those areas where drugs were tolerated ‘written off’.
He said: ‘It follows like night follows day that the worst elements of people then arrive in that community and deal.’
Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘I don’t want to see any short-cuts in the battle against organised crime and drug dealing. I certainly don’t want to see class-A drug dealers getting away with it. We need properly policed borders, tough action against dealers and a smarter approach to rehab.’
Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said: ‘Tough enforcement is a fundamental part of our drug strategy, and the police continue to make real progress in tackling the supply of illegal drugs and reducing the harm they cause.
‘However, we are not complacent. Communities do not want to be blighted by the effects of drug misuse and drug dealing, and that is why police, local authorities and communities must continue to work together so our streets and communities can be free from the crime and anti-social behaviour they cause.’