International call by police officers to reform drug policies

Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0 | James O'Gorman


International call by police officers to reform drug policies

11 April 2019

By Serena Lander

A Police Statement of Support for Drug Policy Reform, launched at the UN in Vienna last week, said policy should aim to reduce risk and provide more humane responses.

The statement, initiated by Neil Woods, a former police officer who is now chair of LEAP UK (Law Enforcement Action Partnership), highlights the harm caused by drugs and calls for an end to the war on drugs. In its place, the statement argues that policy should concentrate on reducing risks, providing more humane responses, and lead to better health outcomes for the whole community.

The statement said that many “would argue further that not only have we consistently failed to achieve any significant beneficial outcomes from these policies, but that this approach has in fact been counter-productive”.

It said that police have been at the frontline of the “war on drugs” and that many have been weary of the poor health outcomes for all involved.

Additionally, many police are concerned about being automatically placed against everyday citizens while the system creates opportunities for corruption, generates profit for criminal and leads to violence.

While undermining human rights, the current model has failed to diminish the supply ad availability of drugs.