police officer has joined calls for heroin to be
made available on the NHS to help tackle an
explosion in crack cocaine use.
Cleveland Police Det Supt Tom
Stoddart said heroin is a "gateway" to crack.
He said by prescribing heroin
in a controlled environment on the NHS it would
destroy the market for dealers.
But director of the National
Drug Prevention Alliance Peter Stoker said most
police officers he had spoken to thought that would
Speaking on BBC Five Live, Det
Supt Stoddart said it reflected the force's
determination to tackle dealers head on, which it
focused on with its dealer-a-day initiative.
Cleveland Police aim to catch
a drug dealer every day of the year.
He said it was also part of
working closely with partner agencies to help wean
people away from drugs.
He said: "The question is are
we going to win the battle against organised crime?
"This will help to do this,
along with action programmes to prevent young people
coming into contact with the world of drug abuse."
He said the scheme would help
take the profitability out of drug dealing and
addicts could also be helped to wean themselves off
"If we can take the profit
element out of it, it will go a good way to dealing
with the problem", he said.
But Mr Stoker said: "The idea
that you would dish out one drug because that might
help you to reduce another one I find a bit barmy.
"Presumably if you extended
this logically you would hand out alcohol on the
National Health to alcoholics because not a few of
them get involved at some stage in drugs."