Starmer snubs Sadiq Khan’s plans to decriminalise drugs in London
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Both Boris Johnson’s officials and Sir Keir Starmer refused to back the London Labour mayor’s plans yesterday. Mr Khan wants young people found to possess cannabis, ketamine or speed to go unpunished.
Those aged under 25 who are known by police to have the substances would instead be offered counselling or drug education sessions – which Mr Khan says has been shown to reduce reoffending – in a scheme set to be trialled later this year.
Officers who catch youngsters would be expected to take them home rather than put them into custody.
In response to reports of the plans, the Prime Minister’s spokesman insisted the Government has “no intention of decriminalising dangerous and harmful substances”.
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Embarrassment “Decriminalisation would leave organised criminals in control, while risking an increase in drug use, which drives crime and violence, which blights our streets,” he added.
And in a further embarrassment to Mr Khan, the Labour leader also distanced himself from the initiative.
Sir Keir said: “I’ve said a number of times and I will say again, I’m not in favour of us changing the law or decriminalisation. I’m very clear about that.
“I haven’t seen the detail of the proposals that you’ve reported on. As I understand it they are early measures, they are some sort of pilot.
“Obviously we’ll look at those, but I’m very clear that we’re not in favour of changing the drugs laws.”
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