A police force in the United Kingdom that’s already been branded as “failing” is rolling out a scheme to provide criminals with free heroin, courtesy of the working taxpayer.
The Cleveland Police, a territorial law enforcement force that covers over half a million people in northern England, will launch the program later this month, according to the Daily Mail.
The initiative will provide selected repeat criminals with heroin and a safe place to use the dangerous narcotic.
The hope is that the addicts, who steal and rob to finance their illness, will be able to wean themselves off with the government-provided opiate.
And this isn’t your everyday street smack, but medical-grade dope.
The cost of the drug and the health care staff to oversee the addicts is projected to be the equivalent of $537,000, only a third of which will be fronted by the police force itself.
Although it’s billed as a way to save taxpayers in the long run from the cost of these criminals stealing to maintain their habits, many think that it’s an unjust reward for the worst offenders.
The plan likely won’t do much to improve the image of the Cleveland Police.
Inspectors from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services previously found the law enforcement organization to be severely lacking in multiple areas, The Guardian reported.
Investigators found that the force was “inefficient as you can possibly imagine” and a “failing force” due to its shortcomings.
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger, the official behind the free heroin initiative, is no stranger to controversy and failure himself.
Coppinger announced his departure from the department after the damning report on his force’s complete and utter inadequacy. Set to depart in mere months, the force’s leader won’t even be around long enough to see the heroin program succeed or fail.
Synthetic and natural opioids have been a scourge on the populations of many Western nations.
In the United States alone, over 70,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2017.
Addictions are often formed after people take a legal painkiller, usually prescribed following a surgery or injury.
Once the prescription dries up, however, those who become hooked on the drug have few choices. Some continue to hunt for pills, while others turn to other opioids such as heroin or fentadope.
The flood of synthetic opioids from China has only worsened the problem. Fentanyl and carfentanyl are so powerful that only small quantities can fulfill a drug dealer’s needs for the year.
As the opioid crisis worsens in England and around the world, liberal U.S. cities appear primed to follow in the footsteps of the U.K.’s Cleveland Police.
So-called safe injection sites are already being floated in American cities like New York, Seattle and San Francisco.
It only seems like a matter of time before social justice dictates they provide the drugs to these addicts as well.
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