Police radically change their vision of narcotic use
The easing was announced by the National Police Chiefs Council: Leaving cannabis users off the hook and suggesting they get treatment rather than punishment reports the Daily Mail. This is a great step forward in improving the political and legal environment
Yesterday, police forces across the country were given the green light to stop the arrests of cannabis users.
Every police chief can now decide to arrest and charge, caution or warn people caught with drugs - or just let them go.
The National Council of Chiefs of Police is the body that formulates operational policies at the national level.
The organization's drug spokesperson Jason Harwin, Deputy Director of the Cleveland Police Department, said asking cannabis users to seek treatment rather than suing them could prevent recidivism and provide "better outcomes." ".
The news follows West Midlands Police Chief Dave Thompson's revelation last week that his officers are not even giving an official warning to young cannabis users because it would be "disastrous for their chances in the future. life ".
Mr Harwin, who is NPCC's' drug officer ', said:' There is strong evidence that recommending early intervention treatment for juvenile offenders rather than securing convictions can prevent recidivism and lead to the best results for both the user and the criminal justice system.
It is the responsibility of chiefs of police, in liaison with their police and their commissioners, to determine operational priorities.
Suggesting users to opt for treatment is not compulsory and remains a proposition and an alternative to imprisonment
Possession of a Class B drug like cannabis can result in a prison sentence of five years and an unlimited fine. Cultivation or trafficking in cannabis can theoretically lead to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine.
Mr Harwin, whose organization includes the 43 police forces of England and Wales, said police chiefs would continue to prosecute serious drug criminals.
However, he added: “There are a range of options for dealing with people found in possession of cannabis or who cultivate the plant that are proportionate to individual circumstances - these include extrajudicial provisions and warnings regarding cannabis. , as well as prosecutions ”.
This approach has been criticized by anti-drug activists, including the National Drug Prevention Alliance.
In response to the NPCC statement, the Home Office said police chiefs are expected to enforce applicable law.