CRACKING down on drugs will cause more deaths – that’s the message from politicians and campaigners.

Speaking in Parliament in support of so-called “shooting galleries” where addicts can inject heroin away from the streets, Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle said: “One of the clearest failings in public policy has been the war on drugs.

“Treating addicts as criminals has clearly failed; it does not work.

“People who advocate for cracking down are advocating for the deaths of sons, daughters, friends and family members. That is the cruel reality.

“We hear time and again that people do not want these things in their backyard. The reality is that they are in people’s backyards—quite literally.

“I remember canvassing up flights of stairs in tower blocks, and people were shooting up right in front of me.

“They had nowhere to go and no support was offered. The only thing we can do is ring the police, but we know that in a day or so the revolving door will start again.

“How does that help with the pressure on our police? How does that help with the pressures on our communities? The reality is that it does not.”

Mr Russell-Moyle argued that in Sydney, where drug consumption rooms have been trialled for ten years, and Portugal, where treatment for addicts is favoured over prosecution, the harm caused by drugs has greatly decreased.

A former undercover police officer and the mother of a girl who died after taking ecstasy will argue that drugs should be legalised at a debate on Thursday.

Anne-Marie Cockburn, whose daughter Martha, died at the age of 14 after taking 91 per cent pure ecstasy, argues that legalising drugs could have saved her daughter.

She said: “I believe that my daughter would still be alive today had she taken something that was legally regulated – as it would be labelled with a list of ingredients and recommended dosage.

“No responsible parent wants to think of their child taking drugs, but I’d rather deal with the ramifications of a teenager high on drugs than a dead one.”

Neil Woods, who worked as an undercover officer tackling drugs in Sussex and now campaigns for legalisation with the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, will also be at the public event organised by Anyone’s Child: Families for Safer Drug Control at the Indigo Restaurant at The Ardington Hotel in Worthing at 7pm,

He said: “It will be good to explain the reality of the drug war in one of the busiest illicit markets in the country.”