Heroin: The Failure of Prohibition and What to Do Now, By Francis Wilkinson, with a foreword by Sir David Ramsbotham November 2001
• ISBN: 1-902622-28-6 – £8
“Educating us all, powerfully, compellingly and in a very balanced way” Sir David Ramsbotham, recently retired HM Chief Inspector of Prisons.
In the UK heroin is more widely available, cheaper and stronger than it has ever been. It is also more widely used. It causes crime, illness and death. The 270,000 users create an illegal market of about £41/2 Billion p.a. paid for largely with the proceeds of crime.
Francis Wilkinson, former Chief Constable of Gwent, argues in this paper that the policy of prohibition increases the number of heroin users faster than any alternative approach. Prohibition exacerbates the incidence of overdosing and fuels property crime. He shows that the current methadone supply policy is failing.
The author demonstrates that the effective regulation of the heroin market in the UK would be the most significant crime prevention measure any government could introduce. Heroin should be supplied through a designated unit providing assessment, medical treatment and counselling.
Strongly endorsing these proposals, in a foreword to this paper, Sir David Ramsbotham, the recently retired HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, writes ‘ The author of this paper has performed a notable public service by educating us all, powerfully, compellingly and in a very balanced way, about why he recommends urgent change. I agree with him wholeheartedly.’