Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

No Prosecution for Small-Time Heroin Dealers

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

No Prosecution for Small-Time Heroin Dealers

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Meechan Reporter simon.meechan@trinitymirror.com bylinetwitter

DURHAM'S police chief says drug addicts who sell small amounts of heroin to fund their habits will not face prosecution.

Chief Constable Mike Barton said people found in possession of drugs - including class A substances like heroin, cocaine or crack cocaine - will not have to go to court, if they agree to join a four-month 'Checkpoint' programme.

The Checkpoint scheme is being implemented next month after a two-year pilot. It aims to direct addicts towards mental health treatment to address underlying issues which contribute to the reasons why criminals offend.

Mr Barton says not prosecuting addicts caught with drugs will mean police have more resources to tackle the criminal gangs who sell large amounts of narcotics.

He told the Mail on Sunday: "From next month, anyone caught in possession of any drugs will go on Checkpoint. If they agree, they will not face prosecution or go to court. …

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