Pubdate: Fri, 27 Jul 2007
Source: Cambridge Evening News (UK)
Copyright: 2007 Cambridge Newspapers Ltd
Bookmark: (Heroin Maintenance)
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Methadone)


WITH Britain spending UKP3 million a day on fighting drug-related crime
Tom Lloyd, former Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire, says it is time
for radical action.

He has taken part in a controversial television documentary urging the
Government to dish out heroin freely on the NHS.

Mr Lloyd, pictured, claims Britain will lose the war on drugs unless
the deadly substance is made legally available through GPs and

Mr. Lloyd, who features in The Insider: Heroin on the NHS which is to be
broadcast on Channel Four next week, said: "We are comprehensively
losing the war on drugs. It is very frustrating.

"We must be spending about UKP1 billion a month on policing the drugs
problem and it is a complete failure.

"Look at the last 30 to 40 years. Who is in charge of the drugs market
in this country? The criminals are, and they must be laughing at us.
Think of the profits they make.

"They are winning the war, we win the occasional battle but when we
do, somebody else steps up to take their place because the addict on
the street still wants a fix."

Asked what is the answer to the problem, Mr Lloyd said: "Prescribe
heroin, take back control from the drug dealers, reduce crime, reduce
harm, and bring huge benefits all round."

Britain is spending UKP3 million a day to fight drug-related crime, and
illegal substances are more easily available on the street than ever.

Mr Lloyd has already made radical statements about drugs in the UK.
Shortly after retiring from his role as Chief Constable he said the
Government must seize control of the drugs market from dealers.

It is thought the illegal trade in narcotics nets criminals UKP5.6
billion a year from the illegal trade.

Half of Britain's total crime is connected to drugs, and 70 per cent
of prisoners are behind bars for drug-related offences.

As the News reported, Mr Lloyd met retired US narcotics officer Jack
Cole in Cambridge last December to discuss alternative drugs laws.

They held a meeting with experts including police, policy makers,
charity workers and university researchers to debate their ideas.

They also attended a seminar in the House of Lords to discuss calls to
abolish a United Nations convention on dangerous drugs, which bans
member countries from legalising them.

Dr Clive Froggatt, who presents the documentary and is a former top
adviser to Margaret Thatcher, received a one-year suspended jail
sentence in 1995 after pleading guilty to eight charges of obtaining
heroin by deception.

Bristol Crown Court heard how Dr Froggatt led a double life - while he
was talking to Government Ministers about health service reform, he
was using up to 160 milligrams of the Class A drug a day.

The court was told he used the names of nine patients, including some
who had died, on hundreds of prescriptions. Now a counsellor offering
support to addicts, he has mounted a campaign to legalise heroin and
get it prescribed to users on the NHS.

He persuaded Mr Lloyd to back his argument as part of the TV

In the Channel Four documentary, Dr Froggatt said: "It is time to
think the unthinkable and get heroin to the addicts who cannot live
without it.

"Drug addiction costs us billions through crime, policing and prisons,
so by giving addicts heroin, all our lives will be

"It is a myth most addicts come from the streets. What is true is that
most of them end up there doing anything they can to get illegal heroin."

He said Britain should follow the example of countries such as
Switzerland, which made heroin available legally 15 years ago and had
witnessed a dramatic 90 per cent drop in addiction rates.

He criticised the most commonly prescribed NHS treatment for addicts,
the substitute substance methadone, because it was actually more
addictive than heroin.

Jim Paice, South East Cambridgeshire MP and former Conservative police
spokesman, said: "I am not sympathetic to his view. I don't think it
will help to tackle the drugs crisis." 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake