The total for Scottish drugs deaths in 2020 reached an all-time high at 1,339 deaths.
The Scottish Government’s soft touch approach to dealing with this in preceding years was proving a failure with fatalities increasing year after year. On the other hand the number of Police prosecutions was falling due to new procedures which promoted diversion rather than prosecution.
The new procedures were welcomed by the Scottish Government, police, Crown Office and a number of other organisations.
The Scottish Government has pledged £250 million to tackle the problem while it caters for a population of around 5.5m. In comparison the English West Midlands policing area, with a population of 2.8m, fewer deaths and an overall lesser drugs problem, faces an annual £1.3 billion tag.
This sum includes all forms of crimes of dishonesty, drug-related deaths and costs to social and health authorities.
Did the Scottish Government take these knock-on effects into consideration?
Money alone will not solve the Scottish problem, but there is an alternative to the softer option and that is to promote and enforce robustly, whatever laws we have at our disposal.
This I fear will not happen but is it too late to implement a “Plan B”?
Cut grass not so good
It is predictable but sad that each summer some Aberdonians will be complaining about grass not being cut.
These people don`t seem to care about emissions changing our climate and causing flooding in places such as Ballater, Inverurie, King Edward and Stonehaven.
They also do not want biodiverse meadows and natural beauties such as the blue butterfly photographed by Adrian Breeman in the same edition.
There aren’t butterflies and attractive flowers in the boring threadbare lawns that Councillor Bill Cormie likes.
D. Welch, Banchory.