BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  UK: England
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Friday, 15 February, 2002, 08:58 GMT
Giuliani criticises drug stance
Rudolph Giuliani at Buckingham Palace
Mr Giuliani recieved an honorary knighthood this week
Rudolph Giuliani has criticised the "relaxed" attitude police in London have shown to cannabis saying the drug causes violence.

The former New York mayor delivered his verdict during a visit to the UK to receive an honorary knighthood.

Mr Giuliani's comments were made after he had been told about the pilot scheme in Lambeth, where users caught with small amounts of cannabis are avoiding prosecution.

However, the Metropolitan Police has defended the scheme by saying it was being constantly reviewed.

The Met introduced the pilot last July. Supporters say it has saved thousands of hours of police time.

A cannabis joint being smoked
Cannabis users are being cautioned by police in Lambeth
Mr Giuliani is famed for his "broken windows" policy which helped to slash crime in New York by targeting small and anti-social offences.

Asked about the Lambeth scheme, he said he would arrest anyone for possession of cannabis.

"Marijuana caused a lot of the violence we had," he said.

"I would encourage the police to arrest as many of them [drug users] as possible."

Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik added that one of the worst crimes in New York recently, the Carnegie Deli murders, were tied up with the drug.

He said: "We had one of the most heinous incidents in a long time in which three people were killed and two injured.

"People were shot in the head execution style.

'Magic solution'

"It was all to do with marijuana - it is not a victimless crime."

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens defended the policy: "It is being independently assessed.

"Cannabis is not legalised, this is a pilot scheme and we will wait and see."

Sir John welcomed news that both mayor Ken Livingstone and Home Secretary David Blunkett wanted to see the number of police officers in London rise to New York levels.

He said the Met's recent crackdown in crime-ridden parts of London had seen 1,600 arrests and street crime down by up to 15%.

Mr Giuliani said: "Nobody has a magic solution to crime but there is no doubt the more police officers you have the more effective you can be."

Click here to go to London
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories