‘You can’t arrest your way out of record drug-related deaths,’ say police

Police forces across the UK are offering drug users pre-arrest education and treatment instead of a caution or charge
The Guardian (UK)
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

In what is effectively de facto drug decriminalisation, people caught in possession of personal amounts of controlled substances in a number of police areas are being directed towards treatment and education services through “diversion schemes”, rather than facing prosecution. The radical policies, often spearheaded by elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs), come amid a growing realisation that reoffending and drug-related harm can be reduced by adopting a public health approach and inviting people to address their own substance use. Just over 1,000 people in England and Wales were imprisoned in 2017 for possessing drugs, with around 22,000 others handed down non-custodial sentences.