Pubdate: Thu, 21 May 1998
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Author: Hugh Robertson


Sir, - I am curious as to how the Strathclyde Police arrive at their figures
for the values of drugs seized from dealers. According to your report (19
May), on Monday, Strathclyde Police seized "enough heroin for 7,000 deals",
which, they claim, had "an estimated street value of #250,000". This works
out at about #35 a deal.

According to an earlier report (15 April), Keith Hellawell, the drugs tsar,
said: "Wraps of heroin are being sold for as little as #2". There is more
than a slight discrepancy in these figures.

Is it a case of the Strathclyde Police grossly exaggerating their seizures
of drugs to justify their existence? After all, 7000 deals won't go very far
in Glasgow, where there are thousands of addicts, each requiring several
doses per day.

In reality, all the police have done is to take 38 dealers off the streets,
which will allow 38 other addicts to step into their shoes. At the same
time, they have deceived your reporter, deliberately, so that he will report
this incident in a good light, rather than question the huge expenditure
being squandered in trying to prop up a failed system of prohibition.

Hugh Robertson (aka Shug) Barrack Street, Perth

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Checked-by: "Rolf Ernst"