Aberdeen South MP Ross Thomson has been criticised by a leading drugs reformer for arguing so-called “shooting galleries” would not cut heroin abuse or drug deaths.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones hit out at Mr Thomson after he posted a tweet on his views about creating Drug Consumption Rooms (DRCs), which are regarded as safe places for addicts to take Class A drugs.
In his tweet, the MP said: ”I’ve visited a drug consumption room to see it in operation for myself. Opening them in the UK will be the thin end of the wedge. We need to ensure people end their addiction, not simply manage it. Consumption rooms won’t cut heroin abuse and deaths.”
Safe injecting facilities operate in 10 other countries, including Australia, Germany, France, Holland and Switzerland. But Home Secretary Sajid Javid has blocked requests by the Scottish Government to grant the powers to set up the specialist facilities.
Mr Jones, a former police officer and long-standing drugs reformer, claimed Mr Thomson’s tweet was “outrageously misleading”.
He said: “With drug-related deaths rocketing and abundant evidence to show DCRs work, he’s doing the people of Scotland a grave disservice by opposing them.
Mr Thomson said: “During its inquiry, Scottish Affairs Committee took evidence from the founder of the Centre for Drug Misuse Research at Glasgow University, who cast serious doubts as to whether these shooting galleries would be effective.
“We have an SNP government that simply parks addicts on methadone. Now it wants to supply the heroin for them. That’s the wrong approach.”