• STV
  • MySTV

Home Office's injection room refusal 'endangering lives'

Glasgow MP Alison Thewliss calls on the home secretary to visit Glasgow to talk to addicts.

Heroin: Hundreds of addicts inject in streets of Glasgow.
Heroin: Hundreds of addicts inject in streets of Glasgow.

The Home Office's refusal to allow a safe injecting room to be set up in Glasgow has been slammed as putting "party political dogma ahead of people's lives".

Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss called on home secretary Sajid Javid to visit the city and talk to addicts who she said would benefit from such a centre.

The SNP MP was speaking at the party's conference in Glasgow, where delegates overwhelmingly backed a motion calling for the UK Government to grant permission for a safe injecting room, or devolve the necessary powers to do so to Holyrood.

Cross-party calls for an injection centre in Glasgow intensified after 280 of the 934 drugs-related deaths in Scotland were recorded in the area in 2017, along with a spike of HIV infections among users.

While policing and prosecution around drugs is devolved to Scotland, Westminster has ultimate control over drug laws, and UK ministers say the Glasgow proposal is illegal.

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1401985-lord-advocate-refuses-to-back-injection-room-plans/ | default

The safer drug consumption facility (SDCF) was planned for Scotland's largest city, where an estimated 400 to 500 drug addicts are injecting on the streets.

It proposed to allow drug users to inject or smoke their own heroin without fear of arrest in the SDCF, effectively decriminalising use of the class A drug while inside its walls.

Medical staff and drugs counsellors would have been on hand.

Thewliss told SNP delegates: "We have a problem here and we have a solution and the home secretary will not let us act to save the lives of vulnerable drug users.

"It's an absolute disgrace, it is despicable to put party political dogma ahead of people's lives."

She said an SDCF would "not be a shooting gallery as some have suggested" but could instead allow addicts to "get them the help they very much need".

https://stv.tv/news/scotland/1410864-do-drug-consumption-rooms-hold-the-answer-to-glasgow-s-heroin-problem/ | default

The MP added: "Glasgow already has drug consumption rooms - they're in back lanes in the city centre, they're in abandoned waste ground, in dangerous, derelict buildings and in bushes and boardings near to my constituency office.

"And in weather like this, when its tipping down outside, they are in filthy bin sheds and residential closes.

"They are in public toilets and in any space where people desperate for a fix can find that tiny bit of privacy.

"People do this regularly and they take risks every time they do so, of infection, overdoes and death.

"This is not acceptable in the Scotland we wish to see, we can and we must do better."

She asked party members to join her to "beg of the home secretary to come here, to listen to the people of Glasgow, to listen to the people who need this facility desperately".

Knocking back the proposals last year, a Home Office statement said: "We have no plans to introduce drug consumption rooms.

"A range of offences is likely to be committed in the operation of drug consumption rooms.

"It is for local police forces to enforce the law in such circumstances and, as with other offences of this type, we would expect them to do so."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.