‘Drug use’ rooms plan is scrapped

First published in News
Last updated

A controversial plan for public rooms where addicts can inject drugs has been scrapped.

The widely-criticised drug consumption rooms (DCR) were being considered by the Independent Drugs Commission for Brighton and Hove but the idea was axed yesterday.

The commission, brought together by Brighton MP Caroline Lucas and chaired by crime writer Peter James, decided the DCR “were not an appropriate measure at this time”.

An expert group made up of the city’s public agencies, including the police, probation service, the voluntary sector, the city council and NHS explored the feasibility of the DCR – a safe space supervised by health professionals to minimise the risks of overdose, unsafe practices and contaminated drug-taking equipment.

But the commission’s vice-chairman Mike Trace said: “Although, after careful consideration, the response by the working group was that the time is not right to pilot a drug consumption room in the city, we believe the detailed feasibility study undertaken will ensure a strong evidence-base to inform decision-making on whether a local DCR should be deployed in the future.”

The idea was formerly slammed by ex-Chief Superintendent at Sussex Police Graham Bartlett, who said the city was not ready for the DCR, having visited one in Germany for a documentary.

Mr Bartlett said: “I’m of the view that Brighton and Hove is not in a position that requires spending vast amounts of money on these rooms which take years to set up.

“I think the commission have done really well to identify that and it proves there’s a real energy to combat the drug problem in the city in a more effective way, which will ultimately save lives.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne also opposed the so called “shooting galleries”, claiming they would effectively be asking police to turn a blind eye to people carrying class A drugs in the city.

Plans being implemented include training to administer life-saving overdose antidotes and more services for people who have mental health and drug problems.

Drug services for young people and adults are being separated on the commission’s advice so that younger users do not mix with more established users.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “Drugs policy should be founded on the over-riding principle of reducing harm, both for users themselves and for wider society – any approach has to be led by the evidence about what works in practice.

“The commission, in its bold set of recommendations, has helped to further embed evidence-based approaches to drugs policy, prevention and treatment and it is why I offer my sincere thanks to its members who have given their professional time over the last two years.

“They have shown the way for future UK drugs policy – a rational, non-alarmist policy, where health, welfare, harm reduction and decisions based on evidence are deservedly the drivers in tackling drug addiction.”

Comments (11)

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6:07am Wed 14 May 14

rolivan says...

So how much did that cost the Taxpayer? 2 years of "Research"
So how much did that cost the Taxpayer? 2 years of "Research" rolivan
  • Score: 9

6:42am Wed 14 May 14

We love Red Billy says...

Lucas knew it would harm even more her thin prospect of being re elected. So now more people will die due to her vanity. Way to go team caroline.
Lucas knew it would harm even more her thin prospect of being re elected. So now more people will die due to her vanity. Way to go team caroline. We love Red Billy
  • Score: 3

8:45am Wed 14 May 14

Eugenius says...

rolivan wrote:
So how much did that cost the Taxpayer? 2 years of "Research"
So, let me get this right, you're saying that trying to find new solutions to the city's drug problems - until recently we were the "drugs death capital of the UK" is not something the council, police and health service should be spending any effort or money on?

As the article says, several of the commission's other recommendations have now been adopted.
[quote][p][bold]rolivan[/bold] wrote: So how much did that cost the Taxpayer? 2 years of "Research"[/p][/quote]So, let me get this right, you're saying that trying to find new solutions to the city's drug problems - until recently we were the "drugs death capital of the UK" is not something the council, police and health service should be spending any effort or money on? As the article says, several of the commission's other recommendations have now been adopted. Eugenius
  • Score: -3

8:52am Wed 14 May 14

Eugenius says...

We love Red Billy wrote:
Lucas knew it would harm even more her thin prospect of being re elected. So now more people will die due to her vanity. Way to go team caroline.
Caroline isn't actually a member of the Commission, she just helped set it up. On completing their research the commission recommended a feasibility study on whether Drug Consumption Rooms would be helpful. The council through its Community Safety Partnership with the police set up a working group to explore this, this group has reported back and said "no, not at this time". The Commission have accepted that finding.
[quote][p][bold]We love Red Billy[/bold] wrote: Lucas knew it would harm even more her thin prospect of being re elected. So now more people will die due to her vanity. Way to go team caroline.[/p][/quote]Caroline isn't actually a member of the Commission, she just helped set it up. On completing their research the commission recommended a feasibility study on whether Drug Consumption Rooms would be helpful. The council through its Community Safety Partnership with the police set up a working group to explore this, this group has reported back and said "no, not at this time". The Commission have accepted that finding. Eugenius
  • Score: -1

10:00am Wed 14 May 14

mimseycal says...

Thoroughly researched, thoroughly debated and then shelved ... I think that is an entirely appropriate way of spending money.

Definitely better then jumping in with an open cheque book just to shut it all down later after it has costs a lot more then just the research expenses.
Thoroughly researched, thoroughly debated and then shelved ... I think that is an entirely appropriate way of spending money. Definitely better then jumping in with an open cheque book just to shut it all down later after it has costs a lot more then just the research expenses. mimseycal
  • Score: 4

12:05pm Wed 14 May 14

Bugzy84 says...

Has all common sense been flung out the window?!?
A place to go and shoot up and even overdose, legal illegal activity!
Not only does this mock the police force and every resident in the city it will encourage drug addiction, addict will come from all over the country along with all the dealers to supply them.
The detrimental effect on the city would be disastrous, tourism, property values and public safety will all plummet.
Drug addicts need rehabilitation centres not drug rooms.
Has all common sense been flung out the window?!? A place to go and shoot up and even overdose, legal illegal activity! Not only does this mock the police force and every resident in the city it will encourage drug addiction, addict will come from all over the country along with all the dealers to supply them. The detrimental effect on the city would be disastrous, tourism, property values and public safety will all plummet. Drug addicts need rehabilitation centres not drug rooms. Bugzy84
  • Score: 7

1:03pm Wed 14 May 14

Cave Johnson says...

How is a second rate author qualified to chair this?
How is a second rate author qualified to chair this? Cave Johnson
  • Score: -1

1:25pm Wed 14 May 14

From beer to uncertainty says...

Drug dealers and major criminal gangs will be glad that their revenue streams are still being protected by the government.
If the government want to claim success at tackling organised crime then surely they should stick to manipulating the reports and statistics?

Violent, drug and child-trafficking paedophiles would no doubt resent state interference in their well stream-lined business model. Tory buffoons can shout hoorah and prance around while their kids snort coke at boarding school while vulnerable children are born into lives without hope.

The war on drugs did what? Spent £30 billion pointlessly fighting and wasting lives in Afghanistan. Seems like business as usual for drug gangs while so many idiots see the answer in just showing righteous indignation.
Drug dealers and major criminal gangs will be glad that their revenue streams are still being protected by the government. If the government want to claim success at tackling organised crime then surely they should stick to manipulating the reports and statistics? Violent, drug and child-trafficking paedophiles would no doubt resent state interference in their well stream-lined business model. Tory buffoons can shout hoorah and prance around while their kids snort coke at boarding school while vulnerable children are born into lives without hope. The war on drugs did what? Spent £30 billion pointlessly fighting and wasting lives in Afghanistan. Seems like business as usual for drug gangs while so many idiots see the answer in just showing righteous indignation. From beer to uncertainty
  • Score: -1

5:38pm Wed 14 May 14

ZeeGee, ffs says...

Cave Johnson wrote:
How is a second rate author qualified to chair this?
Qualifications for such a task might include an ability to discuss such matters on an intelligent level, for which he is over-qualified.
[quote][p][bold]Cave Johnson[/bold] wrote: How is a second rate author qualified to chair this?[/p][/quote]Qualifications for such a task might include an ability to discuss such matters on an intelligent level, for which he is over-qualified. ZeeGee, ffs
  • Score: 0

8:31pm Wed 14 May 14

We love Red Billy says...

Eugenius wrote:
We love Red Billy wrote:
Lucas knew it would harm even more her thin prospect of being re elected. So now more people will die due to her vanity. Way to go team caroline.
Caroline isn't actually a member of the Commission, she just helped set it up. On completing their research the commission recommended a feasibility study on whether Drug Consumption Rooms would be helpful. The council through its Community Safety Partnership with the police set up a working group to explore this, this group has reported back and said "no, not at this time". The Commission have accepted that finding.
So as i suggested, Caroline distances herself from something even her smug middle class voters would not like next to their mortgaged homes. Risible in the extreme. Gloriously I hear someone is selling chamber pots with her face on. Good.
[quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]We love Red Billy[/bold] wrote: Lucas knew it would harm even more her thin prospect of being re elected. So now more people will die due to her vanity. Way to go team caroline.[/p][/quote]Caroline isn't actually a member of the Commission, she just helped set it up. On completing their research the commission recommended a feasibility study on whether Drug Consumption Rooms would be helpful. The council through its Community Safety Partnership with the police set up a working group to explore this, this group has reported back and said "no, not at this time". The Commission have accepted that finding.[/p][/quote]So as i suggested, Caroline distances herself from something even her smug middle class voters would not like next to their mortgaged homes. Risible in the extreme. Gloriously I hear someone is selling chamber pots with her face on. Good. We love Red Billy
  • Score: 2

11:38pm Wed 14 May 14

ZeeGee, ffs says...

We love Red Billy wrote:
Eugenius wrote:
We love Red Billy wrote:
Lucas knew it would harm even more her thin prospect of being re elected. So now more people will die due to her vanity. Way to go team caroline.
Caroline isn't actually a member of the Commission, she just helped set it up. On completing their research the commission recommended a feasibility study on whether Drug Consumption Rooms would be helpful. The council through its Community Safety Partnership with the police set up a working group to explore this, this group has reported back and said "no, not at this time". The Commission have accepted that finding.
So as i suggested, Caroline distances herself from something even her smug middle class voters would not like next to their mortgaged homes. Risible in the extreme. Gloriously I hear someone is selling chamber pots with her face on. Good.
Lucas has to show how 'compassionate' she is to the drug-users, seeing as they are more than likely to be the ones who vote for her.
[quote][p][bold]We love Red Billy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]We love Red Billy[/bold] wrote: Lucas knew it would harm even more her thin prospect of being re elected. So now more people will die due to her vanity. Way to go team caroline.[/p][/quote]Caroline isn't actually a member of the Commission, she just helped set it up. On completing their research the commission recommended a feasibility study on whether Drug Consumption Rooms would be helpful. The council through its Community Safety Partnership with the police set up a working group to explore this, this group has reported back and said "no, not at this time". The Commission have accepted that finding.[/p][/quote]So as i suggested, Caroline distances herself from something even her smug middle class voters would not like next to their mortgaged homes. Risible in the extreme. Gloriously I hear someone is selling chamber pots with her face on. Good.[/p][/quote]Lucas has to show how 'compassionate' she is to the drug-users, seeing as they are more than likely to be the ones who vote for her. ZeeGee, ffs
  • Score: -1

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