Drug-test service highlights dangers
A Drug-testing service has highlighted the dangers of the illegal trade, a Durham police chief has said.
Ron Hogg, the Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (PCVC), was speaking following the trial of a new service in Durham City to assess the purity of drugs.
And according to Mr Hogg, the labs turned up some eye-opening results over the festive period.
“Not one person who brought drugs in had bought what they thought they had bought,” he told yesterday’s meeting of Durham’s Police and Crime Panel.
“Some of the things the chemists found, they had never come across before.
“It is something we would intend to do again, this is about reducing harm – we know they’re going to buy the drugs regardless of what happens.”
Mr Hogg, who has been Durham’s PCVC since 2012, has been an advocate of an overhaul of UK drugs policy, with more focus on safety and treatment for addicts.
In December the Loop project held two pop-up labs in Durham where drugs could be tested for purity without fear of repercussions and get medical and other safety advice.
The scheme is the brainchild of Fiona Measham, Professor of Criminology at Durham University.
Late last year (2018), the university released the findings of a study carried out by the Loop and led by Prof Measham at a four-day music festival in 2016.
Out of almost 250 sample substances tested, this found a fifth were different to what they had been sold as.