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‘Police plan to fund “shooting galleries” where heroin addicts are given a free supply of the Class A drug in a bid to cut substance-related crime.

Durham Constabulary is the first force in the country to set aside money to fund drugs in the hope that it stops users from stealing to pay for their addiction. The force has asked public health experts to provide an “options paper” that will suggest different ways the scheme could work.

Chief Constable Mike Barton told the Mail on Sunday that, under the plan, addicts would be able to inject themselves twice a day in supervised shooting galleries, also known as fix rooms.

Addiction is “a medical problem, not a criminal justice problem,” Barton says. He believes the police’s main priority is to prevent crime, not to help people get over their drug addiction.’

Read more: UK police to hand out free heroin to addicts