Former chief constable takes over drug deaths taskforce

The appointment of David Strang follows the resignation of former chair Professor Catriona Matheson.

Former chief constable takes over drug deaths taskforce EmailiStock
Taskforce: David Strang to take over drug deaths taskforce with immediate effect.

A former chief constable has been announced as the new chair of the drug deaths taskforce in Scotland. 

David Strang took over the role following the resignation of Professor Catriona Matheson last month. 

Prof Matheson stood down after she said she was not prepared to do a “rushed job”, after the group was asked to submit its final report six months early. 

Mr Strang, who was also HM Chief Inspector of Prisons in Scotland, will take up the position with immediate effect.

The appointment comes as the first step was made towards the development of a new proposal on how a safer drug consumption room might work within existing legislation.

Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership provided details on how the service could work in the city, which will be examined by the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, the Crown Office and the Lord Advocate on how the proposed facility could operate and be policed. 

A final proposal will be put to the Lord Advocate for consideration.

Mr Strang said: “Every premature death as a result of drug use is a tragedy for individuals, their families and communities.  

“The drug deaths taskforce is making a significant contribution to improving Scotland’s response to drug deaths and how they can be prevented. 

“I am keen to enable the taskforce to continue this important work.”