Express & Star comment: Bold to say the war on drugs is failing
It is a bold move for the region's police and crime commissioner to admit that the war on drugs is failing.
At a time when crime is rising, people are desperate for reassurances that our police force is getting to grips with the problem.
Instead we are presented with falling officer numbers, police stations closing down, and a constant stream of politically-weighted complaints from the top brass about Government funding.
Now to top it all off, David Jamieson has warned that the current efforts of West Midlands Police to stop drug related crime are not working.
To his credit, Mr Jamieson has probably put more work in than any of his crime commissioner counterparts in examining the impact of drugs on our communities.
It is a worrying fact that there are enough crack and heroin addicts in the West Midlands to fill The Hawthorns.
With burglaries, robberies and violent crime frequently linked to the drugs trade, fresh ideas are clearly needed.
However, Mr Jamieson's proposals – which he says will tackle the issue 'head on' – are certain to raise a few eyebrows.
It almost seems like an understatement to describe his recommendations as 'radical'.
Chief among them is a scheme to give drug addicts heroin in a bid to stop them from stealing to fund their addiction.
The idea probably seems appealing to those of a liberal persuasion, who prefer the 'softly, softly' approach to crime that has become de rigueur since David Cameron's inept administration.
But we will leave readers to decide if they are happy about the idea of the hard-pressed taxpayer handing over cash for junkies to get their fix.
The fact that such drastic measures are being considered tells us all we need to know about the shambolic state of our criminal justice system.
To put it bluntly, law and order is in a complete mess.
We live in a country where hardened criminals are regularly given suspended sentences.
To some extent, it should not really come as a surprise that such radical policies are under consideration.
Many judges appear to have given up sending addicts to jail – possibly because they are fully aware that our prison wings are teeming with drugs.
What a sorry state of affairs.