London needs a plan for drugs, not flashy media stunts

Drugs policing in London needs a serious plan, not flashy media stunts. That’s the verdict from Caroline Russell AM following her questioning of the Mayor today.

Caroline took the opportunity of the first Mayor’s Question Time to be held in the new City Hall to ask the Mayor about the lack of progress on his London Drugs Commission, initially announced in Spring last year in his manifesto.

But since that date there has been very little progress from the Mayor, with the mention of his drugs commission in the draft police and Crime plan, published for consultation in November, being taken word for word from his manifesto. [1]

The Mayor told Caroline today that he’d be “disappointed if I couldn’t give you more news about the drugs commission over the next couple of months”.

Green Party London Assembly Member Caroline Russell said:

“The cannabis diversion trials that were reported in the media earlier this month are exactly the kind of evidence led approach London should be taking to policing drugs.

“The macho crackdown policing comms we’ve seen such as the police stopping and swabbing people for drugs when entering clubs in Shoreditch, is not the approach London should be taking if we are serious about reducing drug harms. [2]

Drugs policing in London needs a serious harm reduction plan and not flashy media stunts; the Mayor needs to launch his London Drugs Commission as soon as possible.”

[1] The reference to the London Drugs Commission in the Draft Police and Crime plan is taken word for word from his manifesto. Under section 5.2 in the draft Plan and page 89 of his manifesto

[2] A Tweet from the Metropolitan Police talking about their swabbing of people in Shoreditch

The full exchange can be viewed here