Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1180
TUESDAY 22 JANUARY 2002
OBE, MRS MARY
1180. Organised by who precisely?
(Mr Raynes) The Lindeman Foundation in the US. Mr
Soros has been a great funder of legalisation and one tried to
find out why and somebody said he thinks he has been put on earth
to be God. I do not know why, I do not see what is in it for him.
There is an international orchestrated campaign, yes.
1181. Outside the metropolitan area?
(Mr Raynes) International, yes.
(Mr Raynes) In the country at large in the UK I do
not think that exists. There is a little bit in the North West,
in the Liverpool-Manchester axis where I used to work. There is
a little bit coming out of Liverpool. The Lifeline event that
you have heard about is in
1183. Can you send us some documentation on
(Mr Raynes) I think you have probably already documented
it because we have given you some literature this morning.
1184. There is not anything about what you have
just told us.
(Mr Raynes) On what?
1185. On the international pressure, the person
that you mentioned.
(Mr Raynes) I think we have already given you that.
We have got that.
1186. We have not, but be that as it may.
(Mr Raynes) We have given you a large volume of evidence
this morning which is supplemented by the questions.
1187. I thought you would want to give us more
documentation about this internationally.
(Mr Raynes) We can certainly do it. We can certainly
put papers to you about the Soros funding.
1188. It would be useful for us to check. If
I can come to Mr Broughton for a moment. We have had evidence
from a number of senior police officers, not least Commander Brian
Paddick, who argued pretty strongly for some change in the law
in so far as he was able to do so as a serving police officer.
Are you saying to us, Mr Broughton, that that view and the view
of the associations representing senior police officers is out
of tune with the large majority of your own members?
(Mr Broughton) No. I watched on the Parliamentary
Channel Superintendent Paddick's contribution to you and I think
he had Mr Wilkinson with him as well. By the way, before he became
the Chief Constable of a Welsh force Mr Wilkinson was a longstanding
Metropolitan Police officer and ended up, just to help you with
the conspiracy theory,
(Mr Raynes) There is no conspiracy here by the way.
1189. The plot deepens minute by minute.
(Mr Broughton) He was the staff officer to Sir Kenneth
Newman in charge of policy during that time. Do not let the facts
get in the way of a good argument. I have lost the track now.
I have forgotten what your question was.
1190. Whether the large majority of your members
(Mr Broughton) I watched with interest Superintendent
Paddick's contribution and he went further than he thought he
would under your scrutiny and spoke about Ecstasy. I have heard
him use the expression "why should I worry as police commander
in this area if youngsters are popping pills in nightclubs".
This is hugely controversial stuff when you look at the deaths
of young people from Ecstasy and some of the injuries and illnesses
that are related to Ecstasy use in nightclubs. I go back to what
I said earlier, that there are 200 or 300 police officers going
through pretty intense questioning on a questionnaire in relation
to exactly what Superintendent Paddick's policy is in Lambeth.
I think it is going to be a good exercise, looking at crime, looking
at drugs, looking at frequency of drugs, looking at the quality
of life in that area and what is going on there, and then hearing
exactly the practicalities of how this policy is being implemented,
what police officers feel about it, what is the perceived attitude
of those who are using drugs. There is some interesting stuff
coming through about that. Basically "you can't touch us,
we have only got cannabis" is one of the issues that is coming
through. I think that analysis will give us good evidence and
some good information in relation to whether that is working or
not. There is a huge social issue about what Superintendent Paddick
said. What Mr Wilkinson was saying in relation to him being an
ex-chief officer and talking about total legalisation and talking
about taking it out of the criminal market is way over the top.
I think all of us can debate that but, again, what does it practically
mean and how on earth is it going to operate, what are the health
issues and what are the social implications of such a policy?
This is a debate in itself. What other people have said to you,
what the Association of Chief Police Officers has said to you,
I cannot remember the detail in terms of they are radical changes.
I think what we are saying from a practitioner's point of view
is if people are making suggestions or looking at options then
our job is to enforce these laws and to understand how that is
going to work in practice. I think that is the position to come
from and try to end with. We have been desperately looking at
solutions, all of us in the police service who have a passion
for community, and that is what policing is trying to help to
build on. Know the damage that has been done by the drug culture.
The solutions, as radical as some might be, have to be based on
the practicalities of how they are going to operate and how you
make some sense of them. Just as an aside, when I went to Holland
someone described to me how the coffee shops operate, how much
weight they can carry, how much weight of cannabis some individual
can take away, and then I went to the police station and talked
that through with the people who were supervising that and I said
"Where does this cannabis come from? How does that cannabis
get to the coffee shop?" and they shrugged their shoulders.
I asked "What is the answer to that question?" and they
could not logically go through the way cannabis arrives at the
coffee shop. I said "This is a nonsense, how on earth do
you police this?" and they shrugged their shoulders. That
is not something that I relish happening in this country, a shrug
of shoulders about a criminal chain of cannabis arriving at some
retail centre which has been decriminalised, there is no logic
1191. I understand what you are saying about
feedback from your members, Mr Broughton, but, can I ask you,
obviously the police officers in the Lambeth area would be members
of your organisation in the main but have any of those police
officers said to you, in writing or orally, that they disagree
and find objectionable the policy that is now operated in that
part of London, namely, if you like, to a large extent turning
a blind eye to those who do not supply but use a small amount
of cannabis? Have any protested to you?
(Mr Broughton) No, that is not the way this has gone.
What has been happening is we have been talking personally to
officers, we have been talking to those who represent local officers,
and trying to find out exactly what the feeling is. There is a
mixed reaction, of course there is. There are some people who
think this is a very good idea, there are others who think it
is a very bad idea and there are others who are seeing whether
it can work or not. When I repeat about the opinion survey that
is going on in Lambeth in relation to police officers, that is
going to be very good evidence. I do not know whether that is
going to be made public but certainly within the police service
we need to make sure we understand what has gone on there and
how it is being operated and if there are going to be legislation
changes as a result of that and as a result of this Committee's
work then we are going to be arguing that case must be argued
on the floor of Parliament to find out whether or not these are
good or bad ideas. These are major changes to what is going on
at the moment and, as I say, every time it is being discussed
the signals go out, confused signals, to people as to whether
it is a good idea or a bad idea to use drugs at all.
1192. Of course, whether policy is going to
be substantially changed is a matter, and must be, for Parliament,
but the reaction that you got from officers in Lambeth seems to
be, does it not, much the same as it would be amongst the civilian
population, some feel it is okay, some disagree, some are neither
here nor there? It does not seem to me that the police officers
who are operating this policy in the last few months really are
any different from the rest of the people in Lambeth or perhaps
other parts of the country, in other words there is no unanimous
point or view, and far from it, amongst your members.
(Mr Broughton) Lambeth is a very different place from
many other boroughs. Lambeth is a place where there have been
a number of very difficult situations in relation to stop-search,
for instance. Dealing with the African-Caribbean community in
relation to stop-search has been a very crucial local issue to
discuss. Lots of people within Lambeth were quite pleased the
police were going to step back from the confrontational issue
of stop-search in relation to cannabis. There is a political dimension
to some of this stuff as well. Police officers are telling me
that now they are walking down streets in Brixton and people are
openly smoking cannabis and looking at police officers walking
by and saying "this is now okay".
1193. In a provocative way?
(Mr Broughton) It is actually not okay in relation
to that local policy. The policy is not to ignore the personal
use of cannabis, it is to seize it, to take names and addresses
and the rest, but this policy becomes part of folklore in the
end and it develops. Police officers are telling us there is confusion
there and there needs to be clarity. If you move from Lambeth
to adjoining boroughs and there is a different policy then that
is a recipe for confusion as well.
1194. I must apologise, Mrs Brett, you were
going to intervene at some stage but I wanted to continue the
questions to Mr Raynes. Do you want to intervene?
(Mrs Brett) I think it was about the Police Foundation
Report. You mentioned Simon Jenkins, the Chief Executive of Lifeline,
the leaflet I showed you at the very beginning was on that committee.
Some say it had nothing to do with the police but there were two
policemen on it, although obviously it was not a police committee.
One of them was very impressed by a guided tour of the coffee
shops in Amsterdam. There was one scientist on that committee
who was a psycho-pharmacologist and I think you have taken evidence
from him, Professor Nutt from Bristol. There was only one scientist,
there were no neurologists, as Professor Greenfield is, there
were no biologists, no people who actually know how drugs work
on brain cells and cause all these harmful things. There was not
one single person, and they admitted this, who came from a previous
anti-drugs stance, there was no-one deliberately way on the other
side, say, to Simon Jenkins.
(Mr Raynes) There was no balance. That would be our
position. There is one thing I would like to say about Superintendent
Paddick, the one thing that concerns me about that announcement
was the way it was made public on the day before a cannabis march,
that is in my written evidence, I thought that was manipulation
of the highest order. He did not need to do that. The policy was
already working. He did not need to change the public perception,
that is one of my concerns, why it was done. I question whether
the Metropolitan Police Commissioner knew it was going to be made.
I have some real concerns there. Was Superintendent Paddick under
control at the time, I doubt it?
1195. Following on from the prescription of
heroin, I do not know if you have had evidence from the Dutch
or Swiss trials and the results from them. Would you agree that
maintenance of a heroin tablet is the removal of personal responsibility
for the addict and put on wider society and it destroys any incentive
to come off the habit? Somebody who has maintained a habit is
not leading a normal life, if they are having to inject several
times a day they are not leading a normal life and their behaviour
changes according to how close they are to needing another fix.
In terms of the effect on other people do you feel that maintenance
alone can ever be justified or should there always be an attempt
to cure, otherwise do you see this as the opposite of drug prevention?
(Mr Broughton) That sounds all to me to be fairly
true. I think if you take away responsibility in relation to maintenance
you probably need to do more to try and encourage them to understand
what is going on in their life. My thoughts on this are that when
you observe that group, whether or not they come into police custody
or whether or not you observe them in the misery of the circumstances
they find themselves in is they are in a cycle of decline, an
obvious deteriorating position, which I think society itself needs
to understand and try and resolve and try and produce some form
of assistance or help. The only credible solution that I have
heard is some form of secure heroin maintenance programme without
leakage. It is very important to say without leakage, because
if you are prescribing heroin to people then we know, and David
is absolutely right, this group of people will manipulate that
system as best they can. It needs to be a secure system without
leakage. It seems to me that is the opportunity to try and support
that group and try to divert them from that way of life. That
seems to me to be the only solution that seems to be on the table.
All other solutions in terms of criminal prosecution and going
to prison are in place at the moment. That group, I have not got
the details of how big this group is, it is quite an interesting
exercise to try and compare year-on-year whether this particular
group of heroin addicts is growing or being maintained, I would
be interested in those numbers, again my perception is that this
is a group which is fairly stable in numbers and is a particular
group which can be dealt with almost in isolation. I take your
point. I think the points round this are very valid. I was trying
come to solutions and it is much more difficult to come to solutions
in this area.
Angela Watkinson: Thank you.
1196. Mr Raynes, what is wrong with open-ended
maintenance of heroin addicts if this was proven to improve the
health of the addicts and to lead to a reduction in crime?
(Mr Raynes) Would it lead to a reduction in crime?
The evidence from a doctor that prescribed a lot of heroin in
Liverpool is that for a time it did lead to a reduction in crime
but, of course, Liverpool has one of the highest crime rates in
the United Kingdom.
1197. If you obtained your heroin in controlled
circumstances would you not need to burgle to get the money to
fund the habit?
(Mr Raynes) I am not totally against giving people
heroin to get them off open-ended maintenance. If you come at
this from two directions, if you come at what is good for the
individual you go to open-ended maintenance with hope you will
be able to persuade them. If you come at it from the need of society,
the vast majority of people do not take heroin and the divergence
of resources from the NHS will be needed to treat every heroin
addict and maintain it indefinitely, possibly a rolling and growing
number without any prevention. If you come at it from that direction,
which is the direction I come at it from, one comes to a different
conclusion. I am not adverse to helping people but they have to
help themselves, I think that is the Dutch view as well, I think
the Dutch view is right. The Dutch view, their experience, comes
out of our experience of it, our experience in the 60s and 70s.
1198. One of the arguments put to us is at present
heroin-related deaths usually arise by adulterated heroin, street
heroin and if you supplied it through some regulated system that
is the best way of avoiding that?
(Mr Raynes) It comes from overdosing.
1199. Which is another case for regulating.
(Mr Raynes) There is overdosing from methadone. The
whole situation is very complex.