Response to the Lord Advocates statement on a safer consumption facility pilot in Glasgow
We welcome this long-awaited statement by the Lord Advocate, and agree with the position taken that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute anyone using a Safer Consumption Facility (SCF) for possession.
We hope this statement, alongside calls from the Scottish Drug Forum for greater urgency to this public health emergency will result in the establishment of the pilot SCF proposed by Glasgow Health & Social Care Partnership (GCHSCP). We note, and welcome, the Scottish Government’s response that states GCHSCP may now progress their proposal to set up a facility. We also call for the Scottish Government to do everything in its power, fiscally and in terms of policy, to allow for a smooth route to the pilot being realised. We believe the third sector is expertly placed to support in its delivery.
We remain concerned, however, by the offences not included in the Lord Advocate’s statement, including the offence around managing a SCF. Also, the lack of any exclusion zone around a SCF means that anyone using the facility, while protected from prosecution for possession inside the facility, remains at risk outside it. This could present a significant barrier to the impact this pilot project may be able to have, and the support of Police Scotland will be essential.