Many believe that drugs should be decriminalised as a way to reduce crime as well as reducing the numbers of people ending up in prison because of their drug addiction. High-profile figures such as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Sir Richard Branson are among them. Even a number of senior police officers believe that the current war on drugs is not working.
They believe it is not right to target drug users and that those who are addicted to illegal drugs should not be criminalised and punished but, instead, should be helped. However, they do all agree that police should continue to target drug dealers and gangs who are profiting from the sale of illegal drugs.
Targeting the Dealers
The police are currently working hard to try to tackle the growing problem of drugs on UK streets and many undercover officers work to target dealers. One such officer found that it was easy to identify the dealer who had sold him heroin, thanks to the tattoos on his face.
Patrick Revin sold £10 worth of heroin to an undercover officer in November 2013 but thanks to the ‘P’ and ‘R’ tattooed on each side of his head, the officer was easily able to identify him; Revin had no choice but to admit supplying heroin. He was given twelve months in jail for the crime, which will be added to the twenty-seven-month sentence he is currently serving for possessing a deadly weapon.
In January 2014, Revin entered a bank with a bread knife but left before committing any other crime. His tattoos again led to his arrest, with one of the bank staff identifying him as the man brandishing the weapon.
After being released on bail, he was arrested again, two days later – this time with a bayonet and a large knife.
Police in Staffordshire have been working on Operation Nemesis in which they have been targeting drug dealers. Revin was arrested with another dealer, Nathan Davenport, the pair being the last of the thirty-two defendants to be sentenced as part of this operation. At the time of the offences, both men were living at the same address.
How Would Decriminalisation Help?
There are many who firmly believe that drugs should remain illegal and that by decriminalising them, it would make more people want to try them. However, others believe that by making drugs legal, the gangs that control them would go out of business, which would lead to a reduction in crime and drug deaths. If drugs were legalised, they could be regulated and there would not be as much chance of people overdosing on impure batches of certain drugs.
Portugal recently changed its drugs policies and decriminalised the possession of a number of drugs for personal use. There were many who believed that by doing so, there would be an increase in drug users. However, no dramatic rise in the number of people using drugs has been reported, and there has been a significant reduction in the number of drug-related deaths.
Getting Help for Addiction
It is important that society recognise the fact that addiction is an illness and the people who suffer from it need to be treated effectively. Addiction will not go away on its own and, very often, professional intervention is required. Rehab Helper can assist those with addiction issues by giving them information on where to get help and by offering advice and support throughout the process. If you need help for addiction, contact Rehab Helper today for free, confidential advice.