Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jul 2009
Source: Mirror, The (UK)
Copyright: 2009 The Mirror
Author: Bob Roberts


Police should turn a blind eye to drug dealers if they want to stamp 
out street crime, a controversial report says.

Locking them up does no good and could even lead to violence as new 
villains fight it out to fill the gaps, experts warned in a report yesterday.

Instead, they said, police should allow some dealers to ply their 
trade - and merely ask them to move away from residential neighbourhoods.

The UK Drugs Policy Commission's paper suggested crime-busting 
crackdowns can be counter-productive.

The group's chief executive Roger Howard said police work should not 
be "limited to the traditional role of arresting as many dealers as 
possible in anticipation of reducing supply". He added: "Drug markets 
will inevitably remain."

The report said: "Drug enforcement efforts have focused on arrests 
and seizures with the aim of reducing supply. But markets are quick to adapt."

The study said a better strategy would be "seeking to displace a 
market to another area where it will have less impact".

Dismissing the report, the Home Office said "tough enforcement is fundamental".

But Lib Dem spokesman Chris Huhne said: "The Government's current 
enforcement policy barely scratches the surface when measured by the 
availability or street price of drugs.

"The enormous rise in cocaine use last year shows its negligible 
impact on the drugs market. We need to focus on what works."

Last week figures revealed cocaine use rocketed by 25% in England and 
Wales in 2008.
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