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83pc say you're WRONG about heroin; Readers' poll rejects Chief Constable's call for legalised sale of drug.

Byline: GARETH HUGHES

NORTH Wales' top copper, Richard Brunstrom,is wrong in calling for heroin to be sold legally.

That is the view of YOU, the readers, who responded to the Daily Post's phone survey on the controversial issue.

In fact,more than 80pc of those who rang in disagreed with the Chief Constable's opinion that its sale on street corners and in pharmacies should be allowed.

On Thursday,on the BBC Wales TV programme Dragon's Eye, Mr Brunstrom said current drugs policies were failing and a wholesale review of the situation was needed.

Last night a community worker hit out at the comments, saying North Wales youths now believed it was safe to use hard drugs.

Mr Brunstrom's comments prompted a furore among local communities and politicians, with Welsh Tory leader Nick Bourne calling on Home Secretary David Blunkett to get rid of the outspoken officer.

During a 30-hour session at the weekend 83pc voted NO to the question ``Should heroin be sold legally'', while only 17pc voted ``Yes''.

In response,Assistant Chief Constable Steve Curtis said yesterday: ``We need a holistic debate across the community on how we can best serve our communities in the fight against drugs.

``This debate is in its early stages,and the fact that we are having it is to be welcomed,no matter what your point of view.''

In the meantime, the Deputy Mayor of Holyhead,Jeff Evans,has urged people to write to the chairman of the North Wales Police Authority,Malcolm King,and to him, to voice their opinions on the Chief Constable.

Three weeks ago Coun Evans handed Mr Brunstrom a county court summons for allegedly failing to provide policing services of a standard expected and paid for.

He was angry about the way the force was being run and about the emphasis on catching speeding motorists.

Yesterday, Coun Evans said: ``As a youth worker of 20 years I am saddened that I have already had youths approach me as to where and when the Government are to sell heroin,and claiming that information which I and others have been putting out about the dangers of the drug have been shown to be a lie, that it was a totally safe drug to take,''he said.

``They say that the Chief Constable has said so on television and he would not lie. The Chief Constable is wreaking damage on the society of North Wales and the country as a whole,and if he is not stopped I fear for our youths and communities at large,'' saidCoun Evans.

CAPTION(S):

Readers who voted reject Mr Brunstrom's views that heroin should be legally sold
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 9, 2004
Words:443
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