The UK Government has said it won’t interfere with Glasgow’s plans to set up a drug consumption room in the city.
Minister of policing Chris Philp made the statement as he responded to a letter from city councillor Allan Casey outlining Glasgow’s plans and support for decriminalisation of drugs.
Conservative MP Philp said in a delayed letter to councillor Casey that although Westminster doesn’t support the safe drug use facility the government won’t stand in the way of Glasgow’s pilot.
Philp said: “The UK Government does not support drug consumption rooms as we have significant concerns that they risk condoning and encouraging drug misuse, undermining our efforts to reduce the number of drug users and stem the criminal supply of drugs to users.”
He added: “For that reason, they will not be introduced in England and Wales and will remain unlawful under UK drug legislation. We do, however, respect the independence of the Lord Advocate as Scotland’s prosecutorial authority and will not interfere with plans to establish a drug consumption room in Glasgow, providing that those powers are exercised lawfully and the conditions stipulated in her statement are met.”
The east end drug consumption room will be based in the Hunter Street Health and Social Care Centre.
People will be able to bring their own drugs to the centre where they will register and tell staff what they intend to take.
They will then go to an injection area where clean syringes and equipment will be supplied with staff on hand to deal with any problems.
It could potentially open next year, it is understood.
The SNP’s councillor Casey also wrote to MSP Elena Whitham outlining the council’s position on the drug “public health crisis”.
A reply from the minister’s office said she would be delighted to accept an invitation to meet him to discuss work being done.
The letters will be presented to this week’s full Glasgow City Council meeting.
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