The following letter was written by Ron Hogg to The Times on 17/06/16:
Sir, it fills me with optimism that at last momentum is gathering in the drugs debate to treat addiction as a health issue.
For too long only a few have been brave enough to question the misguided criminalisation of people addicted to drugs.
And those who have, which have included myself and my Chief Constable in Durham Mike Barton, have been mocked as liberals who have gone “potty” even though our reform is focussed on putting violent groups out of business and helping addicts to recover.
It cannot be right that we continue to criminalise those that need help and I welcome The Times supporting that view.
I am sure there are political leaders who share this position, who have so far felt unable to say so.
The tide is turning. Now is the time for them to come out of the woodwork, stand with us and make change happen. We must act now.
The longer we wait, the more lives we will have failed to save.
Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner
Posted on Monday 20th June 2016