16 April 2021
Green Police Candidate Calls for Drug Reform
Martin Schmierer, Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate for the Green Party has spoken out about the need for a new approach to the way drugs are combatted in Norwich.
In 2019, Norwich was named as having the second highest number of drug-poisoning deaths in the country. The problem is particularly severe in parts of the city centre.
Councillor Schmierer, who represents the city centre Mancroft ward on Norwich City Council, said:
"The war on drugs isn't being won and we cannot arrest our way out of the problem. These are not my words, but the words of police officers, judges and healthcare professionals I've spoken to. We need a new approach which treats addiction as a health issue, not just a criminal one."
Councillor Schmierer put a successful motion to Norwich City Council in January 2020, gaining the council's support in pursuing the idea of Norwich becoming a pilot city for safe spaces for drug users.
"Safer consumption rooms have been introduced in other countries, such as Canada and Denmark. They are places where illegal substances can be consumed under the supervision of health care professionals and this means that as well as the person consuming drugs being safer, the drug use does not affect other people in the local community. This will lead to safer communities for everyone and all residents of Norwich deserve to feel safe in the areas they live in."
Further information from:
Councillor Martin Schmierer e. firstname.lastname@example.org