Police pledge to accept injecting rooms
VICTORIA’S police union has announced it will not oppose the trialling of safe injecting rooms in Richmond amid concerns its officers are left “picking up the pieces” when lives are lost to heroin overdoses.
Now all arms of the emergency services either back a trial or say they are no longer opposed to it.
It comes as a proposed Bill to introduce medically supervised injecting rooms for heroin users is set to be debated in parliament this week.
Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt confirmed the union did not oppose the trial.
“The association recognises that heroin overdoses are predominantly a health issue that commonly cause death and leave our members and other emergency service workers frequently picking up the pieces when lives are tragically lost,” Mr Gatt said.
“Arrangements like those in NSW do not negatively impact policing operations designed to combat drug-related crime and would be required in Victoria to ensure that a trial does not compromise police activities in any way.”
Upper House MP Fiona Patten, who proposed the Bill, said: “It is now up to Matthew Guy and Daniel Andrews to back this trial to make sure it goes ahead.”
The Police Association was the last branch of the emergency services to remove its opposition to an injecting room.
A report tabled in state parliament this month said drug use in North Richmond had reached a crisis level, but the government said it did not have plans for an injecting rooms.